863

Take My Life and Let It Be

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

God’s grace grants our baptism, and gives us our identity and our calling; however, it is up to us, with a renewed spirit, to respond to his call. We understand that just as “God reminds and assures us of our union with Christ in covenant love,” he also is “expecting our love and trust in return” (Our World Belong to God, paragraph 37). 
 
“We hear the Spirit’s call to love one another…to accept one another and to share at every level…and so fulfill the love of Christ” (Song of Hope, stanza 12). As washed and sanctified people, God’s children are called to “more and more [we] become dead to sin and live holy and blameless lives,” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, Question and Answer 70) and this means “the dying away of the old-self, and the rising-to-life of the new” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 88). And so, as part of our baptism, God’s children are called to offer their lives to Christ. 
863

Take My Life and Let It Be

Assurance

By Christ’s power
our old selves are crucified, put to death, and buried with him,
so that the evil desires of the flesh
may no longer rule us,
but that instead we may offer ourselves
as a sacrifice of gratitude to him.
—Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 43
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Confession and Petition
 
Loving God, we confess to you that we hold ourselves back from full service to you. We hold back some of our moments and our days. We hold back good works of our hands and good words from our lips. We hold back the power of money and mind, of heart and will. We hold back our love. By the power of your Holy Spirit regenerate us, O God, that we may give you everything we have, knowing that what we give, you multiply through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
863

Take My Life and Let It Be

Tune Information

Name
HENDON
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
7.7.7.7

Recordings

863

Take My Life and Let It Be

Hymn Story/Background

Frances R. Havergal originally composed her text in eleven couplets as a hymn of "self-consecration to Christ" on February 4, 1874. She told the following story about writing this hymn:
I went for a little visit of five days [to Areley House, Worcestershire, in December 1873]. There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long prayed for, some converted but not rejoicing Christians. [God] gave me the prayer, "Lord, give me all this house." And He just did! Before I left the house, everyone had got a blessing. The last night of my visit…SI was too happy to sleep and passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration, and these little couplets formed themselves and chimed in my heart, one after another, till they finished with "Ever, only, all, for Thee."
 
The text is a "catalog" hymn that lists aspects of our lives and offers them in Christ's service.
 
"Take My Life and Let It Be" was first published in the 1874 appendix to Charles B. Snepp's Songs of Grace and Glory (1872).
 
HENDON was composed by Henri A. Cesar Malan and included in a series of his own hymn texts and tunes that he began to publish in France in 1823, and which ultimately became his great hymnal Chants de Sion (1841). HENDON is thought to date from 1827. Lowell Mason brought the tune to North America and published it in his Carmina Sacra (1841). Hendon is a village in Middlesex, England.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Although her formal education was sporadic because of poor health, Frances R. Havergal (b. Astley, Worcestershire, England, 1836; d. Oystermouth, Glamorganshire, Wales, 1879) learned six foreign languages, including Greek and Hebrew, and was well read in many subjects. She began writing poetry at an early age and was also an accomplished singer and pianist. The daughter of a clergyman, she had a conversion experience at the age of fourteen and was confirmed in the Church of England in 1853. Taking seriously her own words "take my silver and my gold," she sent all her jewelry to the Church Mission Society to be sold. She also supported other charitable organizations. Her more than one hundred hymns were originally published in leaflets and later gathered into seven collections: Ministry of Song (1869), Twelve Sacred Songs for Little Singers (1870), Under the Surface (1874), Loyal Responses (1878), Life Mosaic (1879), Life Chords (1880), and Life Echoes (1883), as well as in one large volume, Poetical Works (1884).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Educated at the College of Geneva, Henri A. Cesar Malan (b. Geneva, Switzerland, 1787; d. Vandoeuvres, Switzerland, 1864) intended to become a businessman but instead was led to a ministerial career. In 1810 he was ordained in the National Reformed Church of Switzerland. A popular preacher at the Chapelle du Temoignage in Geneva, he attacked the formalism and liberalism of the national church and urged both a return to strict Calvinism and the need for conversion. When the church forbade him access to its pulpits, Malan had a church built in his garden and continued to preach to a large congregation. In his later years he devoted much of his energy to revival preaching. He traveled in Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, and Scotland, where he conducted six revival tours and preached to a large following. A writer of several books and countless tracts, many of them translated into English, Malan also wrote the texts and tunes of over a thousand hymns, many of which became popular in the French Protestant churches.
— Bert Polman

Song Notes

Author Frances Havergal took her own lyrics quite seriously. A few years after she wrote the words of this hymn, “Take my silver and my gold,” she felt called to heed her own words and donated all her jewelry and ornaments to the Church Missionary House, save for a brooch and a locket.
— Laura de Jong
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