BRETHREN, WE HAVE MET TO WORSHIP                                       written in 1819

The Story

“Brethren, We Have Met Together” is one of the oldest published American folk hymns. The lyrics were written by George Atkins and first published in 1819. The traditional tune, Holy Manna, is a pentatonic melody in Ionian mode originally published by William Moore in Columbian Harmony, a four-note shape-note tunebook, in 1829. Like most shape-note songs from that century, it is usually written in three parts.

It is commonly sung as the opening song at shape-note singing events.

This is one of America’s revival hymns. It was authored during the middle years of America’s Second Great Awakening.

Why is it important to gather together with other believers for worship? One part of worship includes adoring the Lord our God, which includes the idea of gazing lovingly at Him. We come before our God and consider how wonderful He is. Our worship also includes preaching and prayer. This hymn presents all of these aspects of worship, working together… and is filled with biblical references of God meeting man.

The Song

            Read this hymn, and make it your own call to worship!

Brethren, we have met to worship and adore the Lord our God;
will you pray with all your power, while we try to preach the Word?
All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.

Brethren, see poor sinners round you slumbering on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving, can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers and our mothers, and our children sinking down;
Brethren, pray and holy manna will be showered all around.

Sisters, will you join and help us? Moses’ sister aided him;
will you help the trembling mourners who are struggling hard with sin?
Tell them all about the Savior, tell them that He will be found;
Sisters, pray, and holy manna will be showered all around.

Is there here a trembling jailer, seeking grace, and filled with tears?
Is there here a weeping Mary, pouring forth a flood of tears?
Brethren, join your cries to help them; sisters, let your prayers abound;
pray, oh pray that holy manna may be scattered all around.

Let us love our God supremely, let us love each other, too;
let us love and pray for sinners, till our God makes all things new.
Then He’ll call us home to Heaven, at His table we’ll sit down;
Christ will gird Himself and serve us with sweet manna all around.

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