Hymn text by Evan Stephens, 1854-1930. View the full text of this hymn.

Raise your voices to the Lord,
Ye who here have heard his word.
As we part, his praise proclaim,
Shout thanksgiving to his name.

Shout thanksgiving! Let our song
Still our joy and praise prolong,
Until here we meet again
To renew the glad refrain.

It’s a short hymn with just eight short lines, and since it’s so short, it’s a fine choice to close a meeting. Sometimes, when we’ve had a particularly fine meeting in which we’ve felt the Spirit’s influence and been inspired, the last thing we want to hear is something long and droning that diminishes what we’ve already heard. Sometimes the most welcome sight in a meeting is someone offering a short benediction to bring an edifying experience to a close.

The theme of thanksgiving is also apt. A brief closing hymn goes well with a particularly uplifting meeting so as not to try to upstage what has already been shared. We are thankful for the fine messages we have heard. We are thankful for the blessing of meeting together with our fellow saints, or for being able to hear the gospel message. We are thankful for a loving Father who has brought these blessings into our lives, and for the chance we have had to draw nearer to Him.

So with such a short hymn, I’ll get out of the way of the message, too. Thanksgiving is over and past, but that’s no reason for gratitude to be behind us as well. What are you grateful for?

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