On Eagle's Wings

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"On Eagle's Wings" is a devotional song composed by Michael Joncas. Its words are based on Psalm 91[1], Book of Exodus 19[2], and Gospel of Matthew 13[3]. Joncas wrote the piece in either 1976[4] or 1979.[1][5] It was recorded in 1979, with Douglas Hall as producer, published by North American Liturgy Resources and later purchased by New Dawn Music, a subsidiary of Oregon Catholic Press. It has become popular as a contemplative song at Catholic masses as well as at Mainline Protestant services.

It is now sung during services of many Christian denominations, including Pentecostal churches, and was performed at many of the funerals of victims of September 11.[citation needed] It is often performed either at the beginning or the ending of a Roman Catholic funeral mass. It has been performed at many internationally broadcast papal Masses, was selected as part of the 2007 funeral Mass for Luciano Pavarotti in Modena, Italy, also broadcast internationally.[citation needed]

Fr. Joncas has stated that his preference for the title would be "On Eagle's Wings," indicating that the wings belong to a single eagle as a metaphor for God, but he said he could make an argument for the plural "On Eagles' Wings," since many wings would be needed to lift up the multitude of people in covenant with God.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Dela Cruz, Darlene J.M. (December 30, 2013). "Response to 'On Eagle's Wings' over the years humbling for composer". Catholic News Service.
  2. ^ https://www.ocp.org/en-us/songs/1526
  3. ^ https://www.ocp.org/en-us/songs/1526
  4. ^ "Plaque serves as permanent reminder of origin of beloved hymn 'On Eagle's Wings'". Omaha World-Herald. July 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Dela Cruz, Darlene J.M. (September 13, 2013). "The composers of two much-loved hymns, performing on Oahu this month, explain how the songs came to be". Hawaii Catholic Herald.

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