Hymn #46: Hope of the World

            Georgia Elma Harkness (1891-1974) created this hymn to reflect the theme of the Second General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, held in Evanston, Illinois, in 1954 – “Jesus Christ the Hope of the World.”  It was selected by the Hymn Society of America for publication in Eleven New Ecumenical Hymns, where it was set with two different tunes.

           Georgia Harkness was ordained a Methodist minister in 1926 and had a celebrated career as a college and seminary professor.  She taught at Elmira College in New York, Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts, Garrett Biblical Institute in Illinois, and Pacific School of Religion in California.

            John Albert Jeffery (1855-1929) composed ANCIENT OF DAYS in 1886 for a text beginning with those words by William Doane.  It was originally named ALBANY for the city in New York, which celebrated its bicentennial that year.  The hymn was subsequently published in the Episcopal Hymnal (1892) for which Doane served as chair.

            J. Albert Jeffery was born in Plymouth, England, on October 26, 1855, and succeeded his father as organist at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in that city.  He moved to the United States in 1876, taught at Albany, New York, and at the New England Conservatory of Music in Massachusetts.