“I will fear no evil, for thou art with me”

This week, we’ll sing together — weather permitting — a hymn first published in 1863. The caption that appeared above the hymn is the title I’ve used for this post. The hymn — “In heav’nly love abiding” — is one of many hymns inspired by Psalm 23, a text with great reassuring power especially treasured in times of uncertainty.

The text is by Anna Laetitia Waring (1823-1910), a Welsh poet who was raised in the Society of Friends but converted to the Church of England because of her eagerness to participate in the sacramental life of the Church. She is also known to have learned to read Hebrew so she could better appreciate the poetry of the Old Testament.

The tune NYLAND is a Finnish folk melody adapted for use as a hymn in the early twentieth century, a time when many hymnal editors were acknowledging the virtues of durable folk tunes as fitting melodies for liturgical use. It was arranged by David Evans (1874-1948), a noted Welsh organist and music professor.

Our “Choir in Quarantine” recorded this hymn this past week, and hope you can sing it at home in the coming weeks with your families (it’s #431 in our Hymnal; if you don’t have hymnals at home, or if you need additional copies, you may obtain a copy here).