"O Happy Day" is a hymn that celebrates the covenant with God and salvation found in Jesus of the Non-Conformists in 18th Century England. It includes vivid imagery of the rejoicing its author, Philip Doddridge, felt for his savior and God. Popularized by a recording from the Edwin Hawkins Singers, this hymn has become a gospel music standard in the modern day.
1 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 ev'ry day;
Happy day, happy day,
When Jesus washed my sins away.
2 'Tis done-- the great transaction's done;
I am my Lord's, and He is mine;
He drew me and I followed on,
Rejoicing in the call divine. [Chorus]
3 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. [Chorus]
4 High heav'n that hears 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. [Chorus]
The Story Behind O Happy Day
The lyrics of the hymn “O Happy Day” were written by Philip Doddridge (1702-1751), an English Non-Conformist minister, meaning that he dissented from the Church of England.
The original name Doddridge gave to “O Happy Day” was “Rejoicing in our Covenant. Engagement with God.” The hymn is filled with images of the covenant, an ideal which was very important to the nonconformist and dissenting clergy, who would eventually bring it with them to New England as part of Puritan theology. When Doddridge was young he made a covenant with God, reviewing it every year and asking God’s pardon for his failure to keep it as faithfully as he wished.
Doddridge is thought to have created his hymns as summaries of his preachings and hoped to help his congregation express their response to what he was teaching.
Popular Hymn Lyrics with Story and Meaning
Day by Day and With Each Passing Moment
Jesus Loves Me
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
Nearer My God to Thee
Abide with Me
His Eye is On the Sparrow
Be Thou My Vision
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty