This YouTube vid features Ken Nafziger of Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, VA, leading a Mennonite group in “606” — as it is known. It recently became a feature of an extensive discussion among participants of a hymnody discussion board I’m on. Fair Warning: It might get “in your head” and refuse to go away!
I heard Ken speak about this hymn at a 2008 conference at Pepperdine University in Mailbu, CA. Using the 1709 Thomas Ken lyrics, “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow,” it is almost universally known among acapella Mennonite churches as “606” as it was numbered in an older Mennonite hymnal. After singing it in Stouffer Chapel at Pepperdine with Ken leading, I lobbied hard to include it in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs — a new hymnal for which I was co-editor — but it is 3 pages long which could become cumbersome. Ken was gracious enough to come to a lecture I did regarding the new hymnal, and made several valuable suggestions which contributed to the project.
Below is another link to an article discussing the usage of the hymn among acapella Mennonite churches.
What do you think?
The earliest instance of this tune in print (discovered to-date, that is) is the ninth edition of Lowell Mason’s Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection in 1830, where it was designated as “Doxology.” It first appeared in the fifteenth edition (1876) of Harmonia Sacra, entitled “Dedication Anthem,” which is its designation in the Hymnal: A Worship Book, alongside “(606).” [p. 290, Hymnal Companion, Writer/Compiler – Joan A Fyock, ed. Lani Wright, ©1996, Brethren Press]