God Who Spoke in the Beginning

God who spoke in the beginning

Author: Fred Kaan (1968)
Published in 6 hymnals

Printable scores: MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

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Source: Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #277

Author: Fred Kaan

Fred Kaan Hymn writer. His hymns include both original work and translations. He sought to address issues of peace and justice. He was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands in July 1929. He was baptised in St Bavo Cathedral but his family did not attend church regularly. He lived through the Nazi occupation, saw three of his grandparents die of starvation, and witnessed his parents deep involvement in the resistance movement. They took in a number of refugees. He became a pacifist and began attending church in his teens. Having become interested in British Congregationalism (later to become the United Reformed Church) through a friendship, he was attended Western College in Bristol. He was ordained in 1955 at the Windsor Road Congregation… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: God who spoke in the beginning
Title: God Who Spoke in the Beginning
Author: Fred Kaan (1968)
Language: English
Copyright: © 1968, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Gen. 1-2
st. 2 = Heb. 1:1-2

Fred (Frederick Herman) Kaan (b. Haarlem, the Netherlands, 1929) skillfully conveys through his hymn text that when God speaks, things happen. God spoke the creation into being (st. 1); God has spoken throughout history and supremely through Christ, the Son (st. 2); and God still speaks today through the Word Incarnate (Christ) and through the words and deeds of Christians who are stirred to action through his Holy Spirit (st. 3).

Under the title 'The First and Final Word" the text was first published in Pilgrim Prais (1968), a compilation of Kaan's hymns.

Baptized in the historic St. Bavo Church in Haarlem, Kaan began his theological education at the University of Utrecht but moved to England in 1952 and completed his studies at Bristol University. Ordained by the (now) United Reformed Church in 1955, he served the Windsor Road Congregational Church in Barry, Wales (1955¬1963), and the Pilgrim Church, Plymouth, England (1963-1968). From 1968 to 1978 he was initially minister-secretary of the International Congregational Council in Geneva, Switzerland, and then executive secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Church. He returned to England in 1978 to become the moderator of the Western Midlands Province of the United Reformed Church, after which he served the Central Church in Swindon and the Penhill United Reformed Church (1985-1989).

As an ecumenist Kaan has associations with Christian communities and social action groups throughout the world. He began to write hymns because he wanted to "fill the gaps" not covered by traditional hymnals especially in the area of the social responsibility demanded by the gospel. Considered one of the important contributors to the recent "explosion" in English hymn writing, Kaan has written some two hundred hymns and translations. His hymns were collected in Pilgrim Praise (1968,1972), Break Not the Circle (1975), The Hymn Texts of Fred Kaan (1985), and Planting Trees and Sowing Seeds (1989), as well as in most recent hymnals. Kaan's 1984 doctoral dissertation (Geneva Theological College) is called "Emerging Language in Hymnody."

Liturgical Use:
Probably most useful before or after the sermon, but also suitable in many other contexts.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook





ALL SAINTS is a stately tune with a demanding harmony that a good singing congregation or choir will want to sing in parts. See PHH 230 for background information on , ALL SAINTS; the setting there is also in a lower key. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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Instances (1 - 3 of 3)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #468
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #277Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #87
Include 3 pre-1979 instances