It Is Well with My Soul
The story of Horatio and Anna Spafford is one of determination and faith amid devastating, crippling tragedy. It is a powerful example of the desire to find peace, show love, and give service—the hallmarks of the true Christmas spirit—when despair and resentment threaten to overwhelm. Christ-like service is the dominant trait of the Spafford story which, after so many heartbreaks and setbacks, culminates in the family moving to the Holy Land and setting up the Spafford Children’s Center in East Jerusalem. There, amid so much conflict, staff and patients of many faiths still work together to heal, cooperate, and foster peace.
As Hugh Bonneville narrates the Spafford family’s deeply affecting story, written by David Warner, Mack Wilberg’s musical accompaniment weaves together the familiar strains of “O Little Town of Bethelehem” with Horatio Spafford’s hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul.” Penned just after the tragic loss of Spafford’s four daughters in the lead-up to the Christmas season of 1873, this poem expresses his firm assurance of faith in times of crisis. The eminent hymn–tune writer Phillip Bliss, a friend of the Spafford family, set this poem to music just a few years later in 1876, and it quickly spread through the Christian world, published in hundreds of hymnals.
Music: Mack Wilberg
Narration: David Warner