Hymn-Theology: My Anchor Holds Within the Veil

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“In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.”

The Solid Rock (My Hope is Built)

– Words: Edward Mote, circa 1834; Music: William B. Bradbury, 1863

Not having grown up in the church, my Introduction to Hymns 101 course curriculum was comprised of material primarily from two artists: Fernando Ortega and Crystal Lewis. Not surprisingly, I first heard this hymn by Crystal Lewis from her Hymns CD “Hymns (My Life).”

It never ceases to amaze me how a Bible verse can be read a multitude of times and yet, at one particular moment in your personal history, it rings out loudly, touches your soul, and revives your spirit. Reading through Hebrews a couple years ago, one particular verse was such a resounding bell:  Hebrews 6:19.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil…

At that time in my life I was struggling to accept the limitations of my newly diagnosed condition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and how that would, in time, affect my ability to serve in my church as, at that time I was the worship leader and had just begun to build a team.  Would I be bedridden? Would I have to quit my job?  Would Jesus heal me?  All these questions and more ricocheted in my thoughts calmed at once by the reading of this verse much like Jesus telling the storm on the Sea of Galilee to be still.

Being reminded of this wonderful hymn earlier this week, I was astounded to see how the second half on the second stanza encapsulates Hebrews 6:19 so well: “In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.” The storms of life, storms so intense that perhaps we cannot even see the face of Jesus, are no match for the anchor of our soul: this hope.

An Extra Bit:

The Solid Rock: Edward Mote / William Bradbury, 1863

Below is a demo I recorded in Garage Band.  Click HERE to download the mp3 file.


For Thought & Discussion:

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

15 thoughts on “Hymn-Theology: My Anchor Holds Within the Veil

  1. hi, just listened to your recording of thr solid rock. i was singing it this morning and stopped on thr the line about the veil, decided i did not undrestand it enough which led me to your site. this song is one of my to most cherished old hymes because of the many truths it contains. your performance of this, my favorite is beautiful, thanx.

    shalom, Jesuah is Lord


    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was thinking of the hymn and found your site. It was helpful for me this morning. Also to know that there are more christian blogger/artist out there. Thank you for the song!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Friday Church 1/13/12 #SundaySetlists | Bridget Willard

  4. Pingback: Our God and His Amazing Creation » My Anchor Holds Within the Veil

  5. Was working on signing that phrase,my anchor holds within the veil, in ASL. Was stumped by how “veil” was used. The unseen God behind the storm….always there…we are never alone! Someday that dim veil will be lifted and we will see clearly! Thank you! Now to show that in a sign! Lee

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  6. The veil refers to the curtain that covers the entrance to the holiest of holies in the temple. Only the high priest was allowed to enter and be in the presence of God. Now with Christ, we are able to stand behind the curtain (veil) and be in the presence of our rock and anchor (God the Father). Christ is now our high priest (Hebrews 6:20).

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  7. Thank you Bridget and also Leonard Hall — LOVE this song — even though I know it in a different, modernized version (which adds a chorus: “Christ alone, Cornerstone, Weak made strong in the Savior’s love, through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all). I’ve needed both the Scripture on which the line was based (Hebrews 6:19), as well as the application/interpretation from Leonard. Printing this out until I can REMEMBER it long-term. God bless you ~ appreciating that Lee Schlife is researching the meaning so as to best interpret it in ASL — bringing the Word and deep theology to more of God’s people.

    Liked by 1 person

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