It Is Well with My Soul

Every week on Wednesday, Paula, Mary (sometimes) and I attend a senior Bible study group at Ocean View Baptist Church. The group is lead by our senior pastor Jacques. Pastor Jacques usually struggles to get through his lesson plan because we managed to go down many ratholes in search of understanding.

Usually, the group starts with prayers. This is also a time for folks to share those who might be in the hospital and/or sick. After the prayers, we sing a hymn. I get to choose the hymn. I usually like to choose old standards. I don’t care for the new-agey hymns that are sung during our Sunday services. The seniors seem to be all right with that.

A little over a year ago, Jacques came to our home to visit with Mary who had just gotten home from the hospital after shoulder surgery. So, Pastor Jacques sees our piano. He asks Mary if she played the piano. So she said no, that would be Joe’s piano. So Jacques discovers that I play the piano. He asks if I would be willing to play a hymn for the Bible study group every week. I said certainly.

So I pass around a piece of paper requesting what everyone’s favorite hymns were. I then started working through the list.

I usually pick a hymn on Monday or Tuesday and email the music to Jacques. Jacques prints out about 20 copies for the group. So I play the hymn and sometimes “Happy Birthday” for whoever is celebrating a birthday.

A few weeks ago I played a hymn and right after I finished i segued into a few bars of “Alley Cat”. That always amuses everyone. I get to play what I like. Darrell (a retired pastor) humorously said that we shouldn’t be playing boogie-woogie on a Baptist piano.

So now let me get to the title of this post. I read a blog (one of many) called “The Inspired Funeral” by Amy Cunningham. She writes:

“It is Well With My Soul” is one Christian hymn that expresses faith in God and peace with loss. It’s a predictably terrific number for the funerals or memorial services of people who were ready to die.

She also posted a pointer to Youtube video of Marion Williams singing “It is Well with My Soul”. I was so moved by her performance, I decided that we just had to do it on Wednesday.

Here’s the video for your enjoyment:

Here are lyrics from the first verse:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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