Faith of Our Fathers (hymn)

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Faith of our Fathers is an English Catholic hymn, written in 1849[1] by Frederick William Faber in memory of the Catholic martyrs from the time of the establishment of the Church of England by Henry VIII.[2] Faber wrote two versions of the hymn: with seven stanzas for Ireland and with four for England.[3] The Irish version was sung at hurling matches until the 1960s.[4]

In England and Ireland it is usually sung to the traditional tune Sawston; in the U.S. the tune St Catherine by Henri Hemy is more commonly used.

Lyrics[edit]

Faith of our fathers, living still,

In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;

O how our hearts beat high with joy

Whene'er we hear thy wondrous voice!


Refrain

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!

We will be true to thee till death.


Faith of our fathers, we will strive

To win all nations unto Thee;

And through the truth that comes from God,

We all shall then be truly free.


Refrain


Faith of our fathers, we will love

Both friend and foe in all our strife;

And preach Thee, too, as love knows how

By kindly words and virtuous life.


Refrain


NOTE: Re­flect­ing Fa­ber’s Ca­tho­licism, the orig­in­al third stan­za was:

Faith of our fathers, Mary’s prayers

Shall win our country back to Thee;

And through the truth that comes from God,

England shall then indeed be free.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Routley, Erik; Paul Akers Richardson (2005). A panorama of Christian hymnody. GIA Publications. p. 224. ISBN 978-1-57999-352-8. 
  2. ^ Osbeck, Kenneth W. (1982). 101 hymn stories. Kregel Publications. pp. 72–73. ISBN 978-0-8254-3416-7. 
  3. ^ O'Sullivan, Patrick (1996). Religion and identity. Leicester University Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7185-1424-2. 
  4. ^ O'Sullivan, Patrick (1996). Religion and identity. Leicester University Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7185-1424-2. 

Further reading[edit]