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16 Christian Artists Collaborate to Celebrate 75th Anniversary of ‘How Great Thou Art’

Photo by Zack Smith on Unsplash

16 Christian Artists Collaborate to Celebrate 75th Anniversary of ‘How Great Thou Art’

By Movieguide® Contributor

A group of today’s top Christian artists collaborated for an epic new rendition of the song “How Great Thou Art” to celebrate the hymn’s 75th anniversary.

The powerful rendition was commissioned by the Stuart Hine Trust, which asked Matt Redman and Mitch Wong to create a brand-new verse for the song that speaks specifically to the brokenness of today’s world.

“In the lyrics, we wanted to acknowledge the ‘broken, warring world’ we live in, but also to sing with hope and faith over that,” Redman said. “Worship isn’t meant to have an escapist mentality, where we can ignore what’s going on around us in this fragile, fallen world. Instead, we can engage with these things, pray for, and acknowledge God’s ultimate kingdom rule and reign in the midst of them.”

Along with Redman and Wong, the new rendition features Chris Tomlin, Hillary Scott, Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Naomi Raine, Blessing Offor, Jon Reddick, TAYA, Brian and Jenn Johnson, Matt Maher, Pat Barrett, Benjamin William Hastings and Ryan Ellis.

“How Great Thou Art” has ranked as one of the most popular hymns around the world for decades, only rivaled in reach by “Amazing Grace.” While many old hymns are often adapted and reworked by new artists, the rights to “How Great Thou Art” are held by the Stuart Hine Trust, and the hymn isn’t part of the public domain. For this reason, the song has had few renditions beyond its original lyrics.

“Normally, you can’t adapt this hymn,” Redman told Billboard. “There is a pattern with old hymns, if they are in the public domain, of adapting them, adding a chorus, reworking them. But with ‘How Great Thou Art,’ the Stuart Hine Trust is still the publisher and normally they would deny anyone who tried to mess with it.”

“I was quite surprised when they approached and said, ‘Would you like to write a new section?’” he continued.

“We tried to tie into the old verse structure, but with a melodic lift and words saying, ‘Hey, we can’t avoid or ignore that we live in a broken, warring world, and we have to face that, but we’re also going to sing with hope,” Redman added. “It feels like a bit of a weird word, ‘War’ to put in a hymn, but that’s our reality, whether it’s on a personal level or on a national, actual war level, that’s the world we live in.”

Those interested in hearing the new rendition can do so here.