Hymn of the Week: October 24
by Canon Precentor Pat Partridge,
Organist and Choirmaster
Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis
Praise my soul, the King of Heaven
The popularity of this hymn is reflected in the request of Queen Elizabeth II that it be sung as the processional hymn at her wedding on November 20, 1947, coincidentally the 100th anniversary of the death of its author, Henry Francis Lyte. A free paraphrase of Psalm 103, this text first appeared in Lyte's The Spirit of the Psalms (London, 1834), which contained over 280 paraphrases. It is the second of two settings of that psalm.
The music, also known as Lauda Anima, was composed for Lyte's paraphrase of Psalm 103 and appeared for the first time in 1869. The tune is immensely popular in Great Britain and is frequently sung at weddings, including several of the royal family's. It is equally popular in American Episcopal Churches.