What a Friend We Have in Jesus Trumpet

posted in: Trumpet Hymns | 2

Joseph M. Scriven, Charles C. Converse
Arrangement by Eddie Lewis

Trumpet duet sheet music for What a Friend We Have in Jesus is available at:

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

What a Friend We Have in Jesus Trumpet Duet Hymn Sheet Music PDF

Earlier in my adult life I went twenty years without singing hymns. It’s a long story I wont elaborate upon here, but it was largely because of the fact that part of what I did for a living was playing in churches. And if the churches that hire me only have praise and worship music, then it can go a long way towards preventing a musician from singing hymns.

About fifteen years ago I dug up an old hymnal and started singing out of it on my own. What a Friend We Have in Jesus was one of the first hymns I sang from that hymnal because it was one of my favorites.

Before I finished the first verse, tears were streaming down my cheeks. I only realized in that instant that a very important part of my life had been absent for all those years.

Before the Unadorned Trumpet Hymns

This duet is not from my Unadorned Trumpet Hymn series. This is a different series that is certainly more “adorned” then those other first fruit recordings.

Chronologically, the experience I described above about What a Friend We Have in Jesus was first in a sequence of events that lead to this Trumpet Hymn Duets series. Soon after that initial event, Pearl and I began singing hymns together here at home. We only did that for about a year, but it was an important part of what lead to my publishing so many of these hymns.

Not long after Pearl and I sang hymns at home, that’s when I began doing the first fruit offerings that later became the Unadorned Trumpet Hymn series. Now we have three Unadorned Trumpet Hymn albums with a fourth one on the way (hopefully within the next couple months).

This newer series, the Trumpet Hymn Duet series, sprung up out of the Unadorned Trumpet Hymn series. And all of this can be traced back to that first day when I dug up my old hymnal and sang hymns on my own.

So there you have the full story in a nutshell. It all goes back to that first hymn.

About the Arrangement

What a Friend We Have in Jesus - Trumpet Hymn Duet Sheet Music PDF Sample Score
First page of the trumpet duet.

When I write these duets, I try to stay as close to the original hymn as possible. But for What a Friend We Have in Jesus, I added extra content. And not only is it extra, but it’s even in a different meter. The hymn is in four-four, but my added thematic material is in three-four.

I have avoided doing that sort of thing for these Trumpet Hymn Duets because I want them to stay very close to the original hymns. But when I started working on this hymn arrangement, the extra theme kept coming back. So I eventually decided to keep it.

I think I’ve only done that with one or two other duets in this series, but I don’t think they deter from the original hymns too radically.

The Trumpet Hymn Duet Series

What a Friend We Have in Jesus is duet number 17 in the series. The plan at this point is to write 21 of these and then publish them all in a book. I will probably continue writing and publishing more of them after the book is published, but the book is a milestone I am looking forward to achieving.

The series began with Amazing Grace. I wrote that first hymn duet after a short tour we did in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, playing at different churches. I was improvising Amazing Grace at each of these church services and different ideas took hold. The Amazing Grace duet was written shortly after that tour.

That first duet hymn was not part of a series. It wasn’t until several duets later that I realized I was following a narrowly defined style that could be applied to other hymns, too.

You can see all of the duets in the series by clicking the following button:


Here are the full lyrics for What a Friend We Have in Jesus:

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.

Trumpet duet sheet music for What a Friend We Have in Jesus is available at:

2 Responses

  1. Steve Walker

    Thank you for sharing this. Yes many years playing and singing praise and worship music did temporarily block some great music I grew up with. When we left our house during Harvey and took shelter in a local church I carried my trumpet and the only music notebook I could find. I sat in that church sanctuary and played hymns from that notebook. What a renewal in my spirit there was. I had missed the hymns and it was like greeting an old friend. Now spending a lot of time at home that trumpet hymnal has once again taken its place in my life as I use it almost daily in worship. Thank you for putting your trumpet playing on youtube.

    • Eddie Lewis

      Hello Mr. Walker,

      Great to hear from you.

      Yeah, I think there are probably a LOT of people who got sidetracked by the P&W stuff. I can’t speak to everyone’s experience, but what I’ve seen personally, anecdotally, is that there is a LOT of pressure to play rock music in the church so to make it more attractive. They do the P&W music to bring in new people into their congregation. This is what I have been told directly from the leadership of several different churches.

      I’m not in church leadership, so I have never walked in their shoes. So I’m not going to say they are wrong for doing this. But from my perspective, it doesn’t add up.

      So, I think there are a great many people who have similar stories to ours.

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