I love to sing the Doxology. As in many churches, we sing it monthly at the close of Communion.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The Doxology is actually the shared, final stanza of three separate hymns all written by Anglican Bishop Thomas Ken and first published in 1695. These four simple lines that make up the Doxology have been said to be the most frequently sung lyrics of any known song for the last three hundred years. It has also been claimed that the Doxology has done more to help teach and reinforce the doctrine of the Trinity than all the theology books ever written.
The tune we actually use for singing this classic hymn is called "The Old Hundredth" and may very well be the most well known of all hymn tunes. This simple melody pre-dates the words of the Doxology by over 100 years and was composed by the Frenchman Louis Bourgeois in Geneva during the time of the Swiss Reformation. While the tune was originally written for the singing of Psalm 134, it was later adopted in the English-speaking world for the singing of Psalm 100 and so the tune became known popularly as "The Old Hundredth."
(Below: 'The Old Hundreth' metrical setting from a 1628 printing from the Sternhold & Hopkins Psalter)
Psalm 100 is a marvelous psalm of praise and thanksgiving, calling upon all people of the world to shout joyfully unto the Lord in worship.
“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:1–5)
Scottish clergyman William Kethe, in exile in Geneva in the 1560's, took the psalmist's words and shaped them into poetic lines suitable for singing, using Bourgeois’ melody that we so closely associate with the Doxology. Kethe’s hymn is a wonderful expression of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. So I share it with you for your encouragement and as a reminder of our gracious God who is so worthy of our thanks.
All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.
The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.
O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
For it is seemly so to do.
For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.