Sacred Harp



In 1844 in Philadelphia, a hymnal (or songbook) was published called "The Sacred Harp". "Sacred Harp" was often used as a reference to the human voice. The human voice is the one instrument that God has blessed us with from birth.

During the early years of our country, music was often notated by different shapes of notes based on the musical scale. Either 4 or 7 different shapes were used, each shape representing a particular syllable that was assigned to one or more notes on the scale. This notation was used in the Sacred Harp Hymnal and led to a movement known as "Sacred Harp singing" in protestant churches through out America especially in the South.



The "Sacred Harp" hymnal became an very important part of choral history in America. Various editions of of the Hymnal have been published since 1844 and to this day, composers and arrangers will sometimes use the music as a basis for their composition.

This coming Sunday, the Sanctuary choir will be singing "Humble Service" by Larry Fleming. It is an arrangement of the Beach Spring Melody first published in 1844 in the Sacred Heart Songbook. Fleming also includes another classic hymn that is intertwined with Beach Spring Melody to bring two powerful messages together.

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Written by Gloria Dei


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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