Lord of All Hopefulness

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Lord of All Hopefulness
music manuscript
The hymn tune Slane
TextJan Struther
MelodySlane (trad. Irish)

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Jan Struther

"Lord of all Hopefulness" is a Christian hymn written by English writer Jan Struther, which was published in the enlarged edition of Songs of Praise[1] (Oxford University Press) in 1931. The hymn is used in liturgy, at weddings and at the beginning of funeral services, and is one of the most popular hymns in the United Kingdom.[2]

"Lord of all Hopefulness" is commonly set to the melody of an Irish folksong named Slane. In English hymn books, where traditional folk tunes are used, the place of collection is sometimes attributed as the tune name, and this melody is named after the Hill of Slane, the site St. Patrick lit an Easter fire in defiance of the pagan king, Lóegaire, near the village of the same name (Irish: Baile Shláine) in County Meath, Ireland.

Slane is also the melody of another well-known hymn, "Be Thou My Vision", and of the hymn "Lord of Creation, to Thee be All Praise" by J. C. Winslow, whose lyrics are similar.[3] There are two variants of this tune; the text of "Lord Of All Hopefulness" fits a metre of, and an anacrucial version of Slane must be used (with an upbeat on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines of each verse).[a] Another variant of the tune, commonly used in Irish and Scottish hymnals (including the Hymnbooks of the Church of Scotland), fits the metre and is not suitable for "Lord of all Hopefulness".[4][a] The tune has its origin as a traditional Irish tune, principally 'With my Love on the Road,'[5] also known as 'The Banks of the Bann,'.[6]

"Lord of all Hopefulness" has also been given its own tune, Miniver (originally in The BBC Hymn Book 1951), written by Cyril Vincent Taylor which acknowledges Jan Struther by reference to her famous text character "Mrs Miniver".[7]

"Lord of all Hopefulness" was the opening hymn at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018.


The hymn is included in a number of popular Christian hymn books, including the New English Hymnal,[8] Hymns and Psalms[9] It is sometimes included in Christian children's song books.[10]

This hymn can also be found in the 1971 combined red Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada, set to the tune Avonlea by Stanley Osborne, with a note saying that it could also be sung to the tune "Slane" with a few modifications to the melody. It is also sung by Catholic congregations in the U.S.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Lord of Creation, to Thee be All Praise" also has to be sung using the anacrucial version.


  1. ^ "A Celebration of Women Writers". Digital Library Projects at the University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  2. ^ "BBC One - Songs of Praise - Vote for your favourite hymn". BBC.
  3. ^ Hymns for Church and School. Gresham. 1964. ISBN 0-946095-20-5.
  4. ^ Stainer, John (1913). "477. Be Thou my Vision". The Church Hymnary: Authorized for Use in Public Worship by the Church of Scotland, the United Free Church of Scotland, The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Presbyterian Church of Australia, the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, the Presbyterian Church of South Africa. H. Frowde. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  5. ^ Huntington, Gale; Herrmann, Lani (June 1, 2010). Sam Henry's Songs of the People. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 9780820336251 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Huntington, Gale; Herrmann, Lani (June 1, 2010). Sam Henry's Songs of the People. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 9780820336251 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Milgate, W. Songs of the People of God. A Companion to the Australian Hymn Book/With One Voice . London: Collins Liturgical Publications, 1982. ISBN 0 00 599704 6
  8. ^ "239. Lord of all Hopefulness". The New English Hymnal. Canterbury Press. 1998. ISBN 9781853110979.
  9. ^ "552. Lord of all Hopefulness". Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and Ecumenical Hymn Book. London: Methodist Publishing House. 1983. ISBN 9780946550005.
  10. ^ For example, it is number 167 in Bobb, Barry All God's People Sing. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1992, 316 pp., a songbook for children
  11. ^ "Worship", 4th Ed. 2011, GIA Publications, Chicago IL