Today ,we(my family) start a daily/weekly hymnal study(it will depend on how well we know the hymn). It is an idea that has played in my mind for a while but with the new Bible study at church(lead by our lovely Pastor Dorothy Ann Webster of Lineville First United Methodist Church /Lineville,AL) ,the idea has caught hold and not let go.
As I wondered where to start and how to start -I did know with what hymn to start with.
"Rock of Ages,cleft for me" is a personal favorite ,not just for the Biblical aspect , it was my twins lullaby when they were babies,I sang it when they were baptized at 6 months by the late Dr.Jerry Herston at Mt.Moriah ,in the same church that I grew up in.
I found good info from many sources but hhtps://huhpages.com/education/hyn-study had it written out simplest. I will do my best to include the info on where I get any and all info from.
So here to start is sheet music for "Rock of Ages,cleft for me".
(image from prayerfoundation.org)
words to look up: cleft,wrath,zeal,languor,atone
The Story behind the hymn(http://officialrockofages.com/Pages/Story.htm)
"AUGUSTUS TOPLADY - he wrote one of the world's best hymns while sheltering from a violent thunderstorm.
LIGHTNING briefly illuminated the primitive, rock- hewn landscape of Burrington Combe in Somerset. It was followed by a deep growl of thunder, and then rain lashed mercilessly down, pouring bubbling streamlets down the craggy sides of primeval cliffs which rise up some 250ft. to the Mendip Heights on one side, and into Cheddar Gorge on the other.
The curate of Blagdon, a nearby village, had been travelling along the road near the cliffs when the storm struck and dashed into a cave for shelter. He had been fortunate to find this hiding-place so quickly, and while waiting for the storm to pass he began to muse on the idea of the "rock of faith" being a shelter from the "storms of life". The words for a hymn began to form in his mind but, according to the legend that still persists, he had no paper in his pocket to write down the words. Looking down he saw a playing card, considered a sinful thing by the young cleric. Nevertheless, he picked it up and began to write:
Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.
The curate was Augustus Montague Toplady, and such is the popular story behind the origin of one of the world's best-loved hymns which was first published in the Gospel Magazine in 1775, some 12 years after Toplady wrote it."
From: This England Magazine - Winter 1988 Issue