The Hymnal

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Imagine living in the mid-1800s: corsets, soft floral dresses, kid boots and hair twisted up in a knot. Picture standing in a church singing along with friends and family with one of these perfect little hymnals in your gloved hands.

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Singing words like:

Cling to the Mighty One,
Cling in thy grief;
Cling to the Holy One,
He gives relief;
Cling to the Gracious One,
Cling in thy pain,
Cling to the Faithful One,
He will sustain.

Cling to the Living One,
Cling in thy woe,
Cling to the Loving One
Through all below;
Cling to the Pardoning One,
He speaketh peace;
Cling to the Healing One,
Anguish shall cease.

Cling to the Bleeding One,
Cling to his side;
Cling to the Risen One,
In him abide;
Cling to the Coming One,
Hope shall arise;
Cling to the Reigning One
Joy lights thine eyes.
-Christian Hymn Book , 1865

It’s a beautiful idea.

Soul-savory, really.

Until you balance it with once a week baths, outhouses, washing laundry on washboards and making and baking everything from scratch.

And by the way, how did they sing along with them, anyhow, when there was no music written down to go with the words?

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If I hold it in my hands and read the words for myself—in the here-and-now, The strength, comfort and purity are still in the lyrical poetry. It’s still a treasure.

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