God of Our Fathers

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"God of Our Fathers" is a 19th-century American Christian hymn, written in 1876 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence.[1]

The hymn was written by Daniel C. Roberts,[2] a priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church serving, at the time, as rector of St. Thomas & Grace Episcopal churches in Brandon, Vermont. Roberts had served in the American Civil War in the 84th Ohio Infantry.

In 1892, Roberts sent the hymn anonymously to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church to be considered by a group tasked with revising the Episcopal hymnal. If the group accepted his hymn, Roberts said he would send them his name. The commission approved it. The hymnal editor and organist George W. Warren were to choose a hymn for the celebration of the Centennial of the United States Constitution. They chose Roberts' lyrics, which were originally sung to a tune called "Russian Hymn." Warren wrote a new tune called "National Hymn."[2]

Lyrics[edit]

1. God of our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand

Leads forth in beauty all the starry band.

Of Shining worlds in splendor through the skies

Our grateful songs, before thy throne arise.

2.Thy Love divine hath led us in the past.

In this free land by thee our lot is cast.

Be thou our ruler, guardian, guide, and stay.

Thy Word Our Law, thy Paths our chosen ways.

3. From wars alarms, from deadly pestilence,

Be thy Strong arm our ever sure defense;

Thy true religion in our hearts increase,

Thy Bounteous goodness, nourish us in peace.

4. Refresh thy people on their toilsome way;

Lead us from night, to never ending day;

Fill all our lives, with love and grace divine,

And glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "God of Our Fathers". Center for Church Music (songsandhymns.com). Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  2. ^ a b Shiver, Warren (2009-06-21). "Stories Behind the Hymns : God Of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand". LincolnTribune.com.