A Hymn for Birthdays

Mar 05, 2024

It's my grandson's birthday today and the day he came into the world was indeed a happy one. Thankfully he and all those who know the Lord get two happy days to celebrate: their physical birthdays and their spiritual birthdays. 

Even if we don't remember the specific day and time God drew us to Himself and we trusted in the finished work of Christ for our salvation, we can use any birthday as a reminder to keep on celebrating God's work in our life!

And the hymn, "O Happy Day" is a perfect hymn for that.

 The original title to this popular hymn was a bit longer than we're used to seeing in our hymnals.

Philip Doddridge — a close friend of Isaac Watts —liked this one better: “Rejoicing in our Covenant Engagement with God.” 

While this title doesn't move off the tongue as easily as “O Happy Day,” it is easy to see why he chose it.

When Doddridge was a young boy, he made a covenant with God and wrote it down, reviewing it every year and asking God to forgive his failure to keep it as faithfully as he wished.

The hymn is filled with the references to God's New Covenant (or promise) to us, reminding us of the glorious permanency of our salvation. 

O Happy Day

by Philip Doddridge

O happy day, that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad.

Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray,
And live rejoicing every day:
Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away!

O happy bond, that seals my vows
To Him Who merits all my love!
Let cheerful anthems fill His house,
While to that sacred shrine I move.

'Tis done, the great transaction’s done!—
I am the Lord’s and He is mine;
He drew me and I followed on;
Charmed to confess the voice divine.

Now rest, my long-divided heart,
Fixed on this blissful center, rest;
Here have I found a nobler part;
Here heav’nly pleasures fill my breast.

High heav’n, that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear,
Till in life’s latest hour I bow
And bless in death a bond so dear.

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