All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The best-loved expressions of praise for God’s care-taking work of his children comes from the familiar words of Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1: “My only comfort in life and death [is] that I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil...Because I belong to him, Christ by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes we wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.”

This great truth is explained more completely by Belgic Confession, Article 20. God has given his Son to die for us “…by a most perfect love, and raising him to life for our justification, in order that by him, we might have immortality and eternal life.” And in Article 21, “…He endured all this for the forgiveness of our sins.” For this redemptive work we give praise and adoration.

Words of Praise

Optional acclamation (Rev. 1:5b)
To him who loves us and has freed us
from our sins by his blood,
and has made us to be a
kingdom and priests
to serve his God and Father—
to him be glory and power
for ever and ever! Amen.

Tune Information

G Major or modal

Hymn Story/Background

Edward Perronet began writing this text in 1779. Its first stanza was published with the MILES LANE tune later that year in the November issue of the Gospel Magazine without attribution. The completed eight-stanza text was published with Perronet's name as author in the April 1780 edition of that magazine. John Rippon revised parts of the original text and replaced some stanzas with new ones that he wrote; his version was published in his Selection of Hymns (1787). Perronet's stanzas 1, 5, and 8, and Rippon's stanza 7 are included with minor alterations.
Originally headed "On the Resurrection, the Lord Is King," this fine coronation hymn affirms the kingship of Christ and calls on all creatures to "crown him Lord of all." The "power of Jesus' Name" is hailed by angels (st. 1), by converted Jews (st. 2), by all humankind (st. 3), and by ourselves (st. 4). (Rippon actually entitled each stanza "Angels," "Converted Jews," "Sinners of Every Nation," "Ourselves," etc.) The middle stanzas highlight redemption and conversion from sin as the grounds for the exuberant refrain.
The tune CORONATION was written for this text. Oliver Holden composed the tune in four parts with a duet in the third phrase. The tune, whose title comes from the theme of Perronet's text, was published in Holden's Union Harmony (1793). It is the one eighteenth-century American tune that has enjoyed uninterrupted popularity—from the singing schools of that era to today's congregational worship.
CORONATION is a vigorous marching tune with many repeated tones that delighted Holden's contemporaries. The tune requires the jubilant repetition of the last couplet of text for each stanza. Sing in parts and accompany with a firm sense of rhythm.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Edward Perronet (b. Sundridge, Kent, England, 1726; d. Canterbury, England, 1792) came from a family of Huguenots who had fled from France to England around 1680. His father was sympathetic to the cause of the Wesleys, and in 1746 Perronet and his brother became Methodist itinerant preachers. Too independent and irascible to function under anyone's supervision, Perronet differed with the Wesleys about the Methodists' relationship to the Church of England: the Wesleys wished to remain in the church and did not permit their unordained itinerant preachers to administer the sacraments. Perronet, however, did administer communion and urged the people to shun the Anglican Church. Matters became worse when he published a scathing attack on the Church of England in the satiric poem The Mitre (1757). The Wesleys were able to suppress the book and avoid wide circulation, but the damage had been done. Soon after, Perronet left the Methodists and later became the pastor of a Congregational chapel in Canterbury. During his ministry he wrote a number of hymns and Scripture versifications, which were published anonymously in three small volumes: Select Passages of the Old and New Testament, Versified (1756), A Small Collection of Hymns (1782), and Occasional Verses (1785). His "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" is the only hymn that remains in common use.
— Bert Polman

John Rippon (b. Tiverton, Devonshire, England, 1751; d. London, England, 1836) was pastor of the Baptist Church in Carter Lane, London; he began in 1772 as an interim pastor and then stayed for sixty-three years as head pastor. He also edited the Baptist Annual Register (1790-1802). His main contribution to hymnody was his compiling of A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, Intended As an Appendix to Dr. Watts’ Psalms and Hymns (1787) and A Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1791). These publications became popular in both England and America. However, later hymnologists have often been frustrated by Rippon's work because he frequently did not indicate the authors of the hymns and often altered the texts without acknowledging his changes.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Oliver Holden (b. Shirley, MA, 1765; d. Charlestown, MA, 1844) was reared in a small rural community and had only a minimal formal education—a few months in a "common school" in Groton, Massachusetts. He worked as a carpenter and was involved in community service in Charlestown, holding posts in the Anti-Slavery Society and serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In addition he worked very profitably as a merchant and real estate dealer, and served as a Puritan lay preacher. Very interested in music, Holden became a composer and singing-school teacher in the tradition of William Billings. He was involved in publishing various tune books, including The American Harmony (1792), The Massachusetts Compiler (1795), Plain Psalmody (1800), and The Charlestown Collection of Sacred Songs (1803).
— Bert Polman

Song Notes

This hymn is a declaration of praise, but it’s also much more than that. The words both declare the majesty of Christ and task us with making that majesty known to all. Like many hymns describing the glory of God and the hope that one day all people will see that glory, this hymn alludes to Philippians 2:9-11: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” We long for this day, and declare our hope in its arrival in the text of this hymn. But are we willing to declare that hope to those who have not heard it? The phrase, “Easier said than done” comes to mind here. After we have sung these words of victory and longing, what do we do? Do we act on those words and turn our expectancy into realities? Or do we wait for someone else to do it for us? The fourth stanza of this great hymn declares, “We’ll join the everlasting song…” Everlasting means that we are a part of that song right now—are we willing to lift our voices together to sing more than a hymn, and truly crown our God Lord of all?
— Laura de Jong