"Man of sorrows," what a nameAuthor: P. P. Bliss (1875)
Tune: [Man of Sorrows, what a name]
Published in 261 hymnals
Printable scores: PDF, SibeliusAudio files: MIDI
1 Man of sorrows what a name
for the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
2 Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned he stood,
sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
3 Guilty, helpless, lost were we;
blameless Lamb of God was he,
sacrificed to set us free:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
4 He was lifted up to die;
"It is finished" was his cry;
now in heaven exalted high:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
5 When he comes, our glorious King,
all his ransomed home to bring,
then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Psalter Hymnal, (Gray), 1987
|First Line:||"Man of sorrows," what a name|
|Title:||"Man of Sorrows," What a Name|
|Author:||P. P. Bliss (1875)|
|Liturgical Use:||Communion Songs|
st. 1 = Isa. 53:3-6
st. 4 = John 19:30
Philip P. Bliss (b. Clearfield County, PA, 1838; d. Ashtabula, OH, 1876) wrote both text and tune of this hymn that was published in The International Lessons Monthly of 1875 with the title “Redemption.”
"Man of Sorrows" is a reference to the prophet Isaiah's depiction of the "suffering servant" (Isa. 52: 13-53: 12). The full text draws on that prophetic vision and on the gospel narratives of Christ's crucifixion and atoning death. While much of the text affirms objectively the redemptive work of Christ, stanza 2 makes a very personal confession (like 386): "in my place condemned he stood, sealed my pardon with his blood." Stanzas 4 and 5 move from Christ's death to his exaltation at the right hand of God and to his return as "glorious King." Each stanza concludes with an "alleluia" to so great a Savior.
Bliss left home as a young boy to make a living by working on farms and in lumber camps, all while trying to continue his schooling. He was converted at a revival meeting at age twelve. Bliss became an itinerant music teacher, making house calls on horseback during the winter, and during the summer attending the Normal Academy of Music in Genesco, New York. His first song was published in 1864, and in 1868 Dwight L. Moody advised him to become a singing evangelist. For the last two years of his life Bliss traveled with Major D. W. Whittle and led the music at revival meetings in the Midwest and Southern United States. Bliss and Ira D. Sankey (PHH 73) published a popular series of hymn collections entitled Gospel Hymns. The first book of the series, Gospel Songs, was published in 1874. The story of Bliss's tragic death at the age of thirty-eight is told at PHH 479.
A hymn of redemption useful on many occasions of worship; Lord's Supper; Lent; because of the "Hallelujah" refrain avoid using during Holy Week (so as not to "steal the thunder" of the Easter "alleluias").
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Ira Sankey, a good friend of Philip Bliss, the author of this hymn, wrote this about Bliss’ text: “It is said that the word ‘Hallelujah’ is the same in all languages. It seems as though God had prepared it for the great jubilee of heaven, when all His children shall have been gathered home to sing ‘Hallelujah to the Lamb!’"(Sankey, My Life and Sacred Songs).
This general idea is reflected in an experience while at Taizé, an ecumenical community in France: During one evening prayer service, we had turned around to face the center for the Gospel reading, after which we sang the Taizé song, “Christus Resurexit.” Right in front of me was a young woman with Down Syndrome. She hadn’t turned around, and so we were facing each other as we sang. She couldn’t figure out the unfamiliar Latin words, so simply hummed until we reached the final word of each repeated verse: “Alleluia!” at which point she sang loud and clear. At the beginning of that service, we had been given small candles, and at this point in the service, children were passing the light of Christ from the center Christ Candle throughout the church to the thousands of people gathered from around the world. Watching this woman, so often shunned by our competitive, “perfect” society, pass the light of Christ while singing “Alleluia” was a powerful reminder that we serve a God who came to stand in the place of all of us, for we are all beautiful, but marred, children of God. It is for this that we praise the Lamb of God, our Savior.
Bliss’ text has not been altered much in any modern hymnal. The editors of the Psalter Hymnal changed the third verse slightly to read “Guilty, helpless, lost were we; blameless Lamb of God was he, sacrificed to set us free…” instead of the more commonly used text, “Guilty, vile and helpless we, Spotless Lamb of God was He; Full atonement! Can it be?” These edits don’t change the overall meaning of the verse, but they do update some older phrasing and help keep the grammar pattern of the text the same in all the verses.
This text moves us through the Gospel story. The second verse focuses on our personal confession, and the third on our sinfulness and failures as a people. The fourth verse moves us from Christ’s death to His resurrection and exaltation, and in the fifth verse we look for His coming again.
The tune HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR was composed by Bliss and is the only tune that accompanies his text. Some make a modification on the melody in the second line: instead of jumping up a fourth from “Son” to “of”, some artists go down a step and then jump back to the dominant for the rest of the line. One group that does this in a simple arrangement for acoustic and banjo is The Fox and the Hounds. They also made a really wonderful addition to the hymn by singing the refrain “Alleluia” (Psalter Hymnal 640) in between each verse.
This hymn of redemption can be used throughout the Liturgical year. The nature of verses three and four make it especially fitting for Lent and Easter. If you do sing this during Lent, be sure to leave out the “Hallelujah” refrain so as not to take away the power of Easter morning’s “Alleluias!” The hymn is also an excellent candidate for Communion throughout the year.
During Lent you may want to try Larry Shackley's choral arrangement "I Don't Know Why" which pairs Bliss's hymn with Andraé Crouch's "I Don't Know Why."
Laura de Jong, Hymnary.org
|Instances (1 - 29 of 29)||First Line||Title||Tune||Tune Key||Author||Meter||Scripture||Date||Subject||Source|
|Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #84||“Man of Sorrows!” what a name||Hallelujah, What a Savior!||MAN OF SORROWS||Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876||77 78||1994||Good Friday | ; Jesus Christ | Crucifixion & Death; Lent ||
|Baptist Hymnal 1991 #175||"Man of Sorrows!" what a name||"Man of Sorrows," What a Name||HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR||Philip P. Bliss||Irregular||Isaiah 53:3||1991|
|Baptist Hymnal 2008 #242||"Man of Sorrows," what a name||Hallelujah, What a Savior!||MAN OF SORROWS||Philip P. Bliss||126.96.36.199.||2008||Jesus, King ||
|Celebrating Grace Hymnal #188||"Man of sorrows!" what a name||"Man of Sorrows!" What a Name||HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR!||Philip P. Bliss||188.8.131.52||Isaiah 53:3||2010||God the Son | Lent; Christian Year-Holy Week | ; Jesus Christ-Return | ; Jesus Christ-Savior ||
|Church Family Worship #237||Man of sorrows, what a name||77 77||1988|
|Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #227||Man of sorrows! What a name||2000|
|Hymns and Psalms - 1983 #228||Man of Sorrows! What a name||Man of Sorrows! What a name||MAN OF SORROWS||Philipp Bliss||1983|
|Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #130||Man of sorrows! what a name||MAN OF SORROWS||P. P. Bliss (1838-1876)||7 7 7 8||Isaiah 53:3||1987||God, Saviour | Suffering and Dying; Pentecost 21 | The Christian Hope|
|Hymns of Faith #147||"Man of Sorrows," what a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior!||["Man of Sorrows," what a name]||Philip P. Bliss||Isaiah 53:3; John 12:32; John 19:30||1980||Choir | ; Christ | Sacrifice; Christ | Savior; Praise | of Christ|
|Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #170||Man of sorrows--what a name||Man of Sorrows--What a Name||HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR||Philip P. Bliss||184.108.40.206||John 19:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Isaiah 53:3-6||2013||Church Year | Good Friday; Jesus Christ | Atonement; Jesus Christ | Lamb; Jesus Christ | Savior; Jesus Christ | Son of God; New Heaven and Earth ||
|Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #165||Man of Sorrows! what a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior!||MAN OF SORROWS||Philip P. Bliss||1979||Christ | his mission|
|Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #482||Man of sorrows--what a name||Man of Sorrows--What a Name||HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR||Philip P. Bliss||77 78||Isaiah 53:3-6; John 19:30||1987||Ascension & Reign of Christ | ; Cross of Christ | ; Epiphany & Ministry of Christ | ; Praise & Adoration | ; Return of Christ | ; Redemption | ; Alleluias | ; Lamb of God | ; Salvation ||
|Rejoice Hymns #286||"Man of sorrows!" What a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior||MAN OF SORROWS||Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876||220.127.116.11.||Isaiah 53:3||2011||Easter | ; Jesus | Blood and the Cross; Jesus | Kingship and Reign; Jesus | name; Jesus | Second Coming; The Cross ||
|Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #383||Man of sorrows, what a name||77 77||1999|
|Sing Joyfully #283||"Man of Sorrows," what a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior!||["Man of Sorrows," what a name]||Philip P. Bliss||1989|
|Singing the Faith #361||Man of Sorrows! What a name||GETHSEMANE (Bliss) (MAN OF SORROWS)||Philipp Paul Bliss, 1838-1876||77 78||1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 1:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Hebrews 9:14; Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 53:3; John 1:29; John 3:14-21; John 12:20-34; John 19:30; Mark 14:65; Mark 15:1-39; Philippians 2:9; Romans 8:3||2011||Jesus Christ the Saviour: Lord of All ||
|Small Church Music #169||Man of Sorrows! what a name||MAN OF SORROWS||P. P. Bliss||18.104.22.168|
|Soul-stirring Songs & Hymns (Rev. ed.) #170||"Man of Sorrows," what a name||Hallelujah, What a Saviour!||["Man of Sorrows," what a name]||Philip P. Bliss||1989||Praise ||
|The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #311||"Man of Sorrows!" what a name||Hallelujah, What a Savior!||MAN OF SORROWS||Philip P. Bliss||22.214.171.124.||1997||Christ | Atonement, Crucifixion, Suffering and Death|
|The Christian Life Hymnal #178||“Man of Sorrows!” What a name||Man of Sorrows||2006|
|The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #220||"Man of Sorrows!" what a name||"Man of Sorrows!"||MAN OF SORROWS||Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876||126.96.36.199.||Isaiah 53:3; John 1:29; John 19:30; Ephesians 1:7||1996||Adoration and Praise | ; Atonement | ; Jesus Christ | Redeemer; Lent | Suffering; Second Advent ||
|The Cyber Hymnal #2123||Man of Sorrows! what a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior||[Man of Sorrows! what a name]||Philip P. Bliss||<cite>International Lessons Monthly</cite>, 1875|
|The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #175||"Man of Sorrows!" what a name||Hallelujah, What a Savior!||MAN OF SORROWS||Philip P. Bliss||188.8.131.52.||1986||Christ | Second Coming; Jesus Our Savior | His Suffering and Death|
|The United Methodist Hymnal #165||Man of Sorrows! what a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior||HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR||Philip P. Bliss||777.8||Isaiah 53||1989||The Grace of Jesus Christ | In Praise of Christ; Jesus Christ | ; Jesus Christ | Atonement; Jesus Christ | Name of|
|The Worshiping Church #226||"Man of Sorrows," what a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior||HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR||Philip P. Bliss||184.108.40.206.||John 19:30; John 12:32; Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 26:37||1990||Adoration | of Jesus Christ|
|Timeless Truths #699||"Man of Sorrows!" what a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior!||["Man of Sorrows," what a name]||P. P. B.||220.127.116.11||Isaiah 53:3||Jesus/Savior |||Timeless Truths (http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Hallelujah_What_a_Savior)|
|Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #246||Man of Sorrows! What a name||Man of Sorrows! What a Name||HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR!||Philip P. Bliss||18.104.22.168.||Isaiah 53:3||1990||Jesus Christ | His Atoning Work; Blessed Hope | ; Christ | Lamb of God; Christ | Man of Sorrows|
|Worship and Rejoice #301||"Man of Sorrows" what a name||Hallelujah! What a Savior!||HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR||Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876||22.214.171.124.||Acts 1:11; John 1:29; John 19:30; Matthew 26:37; John 12:34; Isaiah 53:3; Revelation 19:1-6; John 12:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 3:14||2001|
|生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #130||天父愛子由天至， (Hallelujah, what a Saviour!)||天父愛子由天至， (Hallelujah, what a Saviour!)||MAN OF SORROWS||Philip P. Bliss||1986|