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Carrie pinched her arm. Everyone was standing up, to sing the Doxology. Church was over. — These Happy Golden Years, Chapter 4, “Sleigh Bells”

The Doxology is the last verse of a longer hymn, “Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun,” written by Thomas Ken in 1674. The music is “Old 100th” from the Genevan Psalter, 1551, attributed to Louis Bourgeois (c.1510-c.1561). The familiar four lines of the Doxology have been the most frequently sung words of any known song for generations. Nearly every English-speaking Protestant congregation includes singing of the Doxology in its service.

Thomas Ken (1637-1711) was born in England and orphaned when young; he was raised by a sister. Ken attended Oxford University and was ordained to the Church of England. He was an outspoken chaplain in the court of Charles II. In 1673, Ken wrote A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Scholars of Winchester College. It included three hymns which students were to sing each day in devotion: Morning Hymn, Evening Hymn, and Midnight Hymn. Each closed with the four lines now known as the Doxology.


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.

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“Old Hundred / The Doxology” (THGY 4)