Hugh Bonneville, of ‘Downton Abbey’ fame, took part in a stirring performance of the timeless hymn ‘It Is Well With My Soul’ alongside the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. Not a dry eye remained after the song, including Hugh!
The epic performance featured a full orchestra and over 100 voices singing in perfect harmony. Hugh functioned as the narrator for the story of the hymn’s inception.
While he narrated, actors dramatized the events on stage in costume. The results were an emotional retelling of a sad tale. The hymn’s composer, Horatio Spafford, suffered a tremendous loss.
Horatio sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to England and stayed behind to finish some business. The ship crashed and sank, and Horatio lost all his daughters in the wreckage. As Hugh narrated, the actors played these events out on stage with heartbreaking realism.
When Horatio set sail to meet his surviving wife, the ship’s captain showed him where the boat crashed. He wrote the words to the beloved hymn while passing over the wreckage where he lost his daughters.
The powerful words include ‘When peace, like a river, attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.’
The hymn has meant so much to so many people through the years. The origin story is compelling, and Hugh Bonneville’s narration is fantastic. The live performance and drama create an epic musical moment that resonates with everyone who watches.