Fanny Crosby was the most prolific writer of hymn texts and gospel songs in the American evangelical tradition of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She wrote more than eight thousand sacred texts in addition to other poetry.
Frances Jane Crosby was born in Putnam County, New York, on March 24, 1820. Although not born blind, she lost her sight as an infant as a result of complications from a childhood illness. At the age of fifteen, she entered the New York Institute for the Blind where she would later teach for a number of years. In 1858, she married Alexander van Alstyne, a musician in New York who was also blind. Crosby was a lifelong Methodist.
Holy Women, Holy Men
O God, the blessed assurance of all who trust in you: We give you thanks for your servant Fanny Crosby, who, though blind from infancy, beheld your glory with great clarity of vision and spent her life giving voice to your people’s heartfelt praise; and we pray that we, inspired by her words and example, may rejoice to sing of your love, praising our Savior all the day long; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God in perfect harmony, now and for ever. Amen.
In our prayer we give thanks for Fanny Crosby who, “though blind from infancy, beheld [God’s] glory with great clarity of vision.” We pray that, “inspired by her words and example” we may sing God’s praises—in our words and example—all the day long. May it be so. ~Fr. Dan
Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.
- Fanny Crosby (Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music)
- The Lectionary Readings for the Commemoration (Lectionary Page)
- History of Hymns: “Blessed Assurance” (Discipleship Ministries)
- What is a Collect?
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