All Creatures of Our God and King

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"All Creatures of Our God and King" is an English Christian Easter hymn by William Henry Draper, based on a poem by St Francis of Assisi. It was first published in a hymn book in 1919.[1]


The words of the hymn were initially written by St Francis of Assisi[2] in 1225 in the Canticle of the Sun poem, which was based on Psalm 148.[3] The words were translated into English by William Draper, who at the time was rector of a Church of England parish church at Adel near Leeds. Draper paraphrased the words of the Canticle and set them to music. It is not known when Draper first composed the hymn but it was between 1899 and 1919.[4] Draper composed the hymn for his church's children's Whitsun festival celebrations and it was later published in 1919 in the Public School Hymn Book.[1] The hymn is currently used in 179 different hymn books.[2] The words written by St Francis are some of the oldest used in hymns after "Father We Praise Thee", written in 580 AD.[5]

The hymn is set to the tune of "Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr", a German Easter hymn written by Friedrich Spee, published in 1623 in his book Auserlesene, Catholische, Geistliche Kirchengesäng.[6][7] It was first used in English hymn books in 1906.[4] John Rutter also wrote a piece of music for the hymn.[8] Despite the hymn being initially written by Draper for Whitsun, it is mostly played as an Easter hymn.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

Benjamin Britten used the hymn for the conclusion of The Company of Heaven.[10]

In the United Kingdom, the hymn was prominently featured in the pilot episode of the comedy programme Mr. Bean, where the title character sings "All Creatures of Our God and King" in church, focusing on the "Alleluia" part of the hymn.[11]

In the United States, it was covered by the David Crowder Band on the album Can You Hear Us? in 2002.[12]


  1. ^ a b "All Creatures of Our God and King". Cyber Hymnal. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "All Creatures of our God and King". Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  3. ^ "All Creatures of Our God and King (MHB 28)". The Christian Sentinel. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  4. ^ a b Osbeck, Kenneth W. (1982). 101 Hymn Stories (reprint ed.). Kregel Publications. p. 20. ISBN 0825434165. 
  5. ^ Pascall, Wayne (2009). Understanding the Hymns We Sing. Wayne Pascall. p. 8. ISBN 144862651X. 
  6. ^ "Friedrich Spee: der Reformer der Poesie und die Revolution des katholischen Kirchengesangs". H-Soz-u-Kult. 2007. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  7. ^ "Lasst uns erfreuen". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  8. ^ "VocalEssence Ensemble Singers celebrate the music of John Rutter at Central Lutheran Church". Twin Cities Daily Planet. 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  9. ^ Bartlett, David (2009). Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Volume 6. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 460. ISBN 0664231012. 
  10. ^ "Classical: The gift to be simple / Revise and survive". The Independent. 1995-12-22. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  11. ^ "Mr. Bean". Mr. Bean. Series 1. Episode 1. 01 February 1990. 22:55 minutes in. ITV. ITV1.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ "David Crowder Band, "Can You Hear Us?" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. 2002-02-26. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 

External links[edit]