Once in Royal David's City
A Hymn for Children of All Ages
In the old hymnals you’ll often find a section specifically set aside for children, or designated for use “at catechism,” for children in school studying the faith. Some of those hymns are very sweet, obviously for little children, and that’s easy to justify, because it is Jesus himself who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and hinder them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” The trick, though, is to compose a poem and set it to music in such a way as to make it fit for adults to sing, too. Otherwise, I fear, children will get the idea that there is something merely childish about the faith, and they will think they have to outgrow it, just as they outgrow Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
Our choice this week, written by the prolific hymnodist Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander, is fairly well known as a Christmas carol, but it really has less to do with the Nativity than with living as a child, and learning about life in the home – with being docile, tha…
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