Hymn texts

Many of these hymn texts attempt to express some feature of our faith that is otherwise lacking into today's hymnody. Most are to hymn tunes that are already well-known, so should be easy for your local church to adopt.

Also included here is a hymn text by Sue Gilmurray, reproduced here with her kind permission, which deserves to be far more widely known.


Name Tune Example Commentary Comments Publication
Called by you Saxilby (alternatively Liebster Jesu)     Start of service; gathering. The text is a fresh translation of the 17th century German hymn Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier.  
Climate is breaking Bunessan     Lamenting our role in climate change. Based closely on the well-known song Morning has broken. Ideal for school assemblies.  
God eternal, timeless moment Blaenwern Video[1] Commentary A strongly Trinitarian hymn. Includes themes of mission, outreach, redemptive suffering and Pentecost.

Norwegian translation: Gud vår Skaper, tidløs, evig. (Video[2])
In chaos and nothingness [PDF] Video[5] Commentary Creation, wonder, science. A hymn to celebrate science and our omniscient God. American Scientific Affiliation "God and Nature", Winter 2019 (one minor edit since made to hymn)
Make straight the way Kingsfold   Commentary Mission, ordination, confirmation, commitment. "Way, truth, life". Worship in the City (United Churches of Canada)
O radiant light (Phos hilaron) Horkstow Grange (a.k.a. Harkstow Grange)

[PDF]
    A translation of an ancient Greek evening hymn, set to a Lincolnshire folk tune collected by Percy Grainger and used in his Lincolnshire Posy suite.  
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord Gresford

[PDF]
Video[6] Commentary The solemn tune Gresford, a.k.a. "The Miners' Hymn", was written in response to the 1934 Gresford colliery disaster. My text, based on Psalm 130, aims to stay faithful to the tune's mining roots. Durham Newlink, 2009.
Over the darkness (God of creation) [PDF]   Commentary A song-like hymn about darkness and light, chaos and order, at creation, at the incarnation, at the crucifixion and resurrection and in our lives.
Rejoice in God, you peoples Thaxted

[PDF]
    Psalm 66:8–20 paraphrase.
Sing alleluias to the Lord Lasst Uns Erfreuen Video[7]   Psalm 98 paraphrase.
Sing unto the Lord a fresh, new song Elgar 1

[PDF]
    Psalm 96 paraphrase, written specifically to the opening theme of Elgar's First Symphony.
Sovereign Lord, let nations tremble Regent Square

[PDF]
  Commentary Psalm 99: close paraphrase.
You once favoured, Lord, your people Mannheim

[PDF]
  Psalm 85 paraphrase. Suitable for Advent 2.
You spoke your word Londonderry Air   Commentary Faith, scripture and science. Dedicated to the late Tom McLeish, FRS.
Your throne, O Lord Finlandia   Commentary Adoration; creation; reign of Christ. From Hebrews 1.
Texts by Sue Gilmurray
Carol for the world (The northern world grows dark and cold) Kingsfold     Advent, Christmas. Written in the wake of the Twin Towers events, New York, of 11th September, 2001 (9/11).

[1] Recording courtesy of Emmanuel Church, Redditch, Worcestershire

[2] Tune by Trond Akerø-Kleven

[3] Singing the Faith Plus, Methodist Church

[4] Jeg Vet En Sang (I know a song) (Norwegian), Norsk Musikkforlagene

[5] Recording courtesy of Cornwall Presbyterian Church, New York, USA

[6] Recording courtesy of Niamh Prior, Bishop Auckland Methodist Church

[7] Recording courtesy of Kathleen Theisen, USA