Navigation for Hymns on Sunday

Southern Rātā (Metrosideros umbellata) on the Auckland Islands south of New Zealand.

Southern Rātā (Metrosideros umbellata) on the Auckland Islands south of New Zealand. Photo: Creative Commons

A selection of traditional and modern hymns. This week we’ve the first programme of our Summer Hymn Requests series. Listener choices include the psalm paraphrases The king of love my shepherd Is, and I to the hills will lift mine eyes, as well as a Taize-style Celtic blessing from Margaret Rizza and the St Thomas Music Group.


Artist: Choir of All Saints Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills, Thomas Forster (dir), Craig Phillips (organ)
Words/Music: Anon trans Neale/Purcell
Recording: Gothic 349074

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the Head and Corner-stone,
Chosen of the Lord, and precious,
Binding all the Church in one,
Holy Sion's help for ever,
And her confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
Dearly loved of God on high,
In exultant jubilation
Pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
In glad hymns eternally.

Here vouchsafe to all Thy servants
What they ask of Thee to gain,
What they gain from Thee, for ever
With the blessèd to retain,
And hereafter in Thy glory
Evermore with Thee to reign.


Artist: Choir of Christ’s College, Cambridge, David Rowland (dir), Alexandra Jobling (organ)
Words/Music: Elliott/Matthews
Recording: Priory PRCD 721

Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown,
When thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For thy holy nativity.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst thou come to earth,
And in great humility.

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word,
That should set thy people free;
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,
They bore thee to Calvary.

When the heav’ns shall ring, and her choirs shall sing,
At thy coming to victory,
Let thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room,
There is room at my side for thee.”


Artist: Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Ambrosian Singers, Philharmonia Orch, Denis Vaughan (organ), Charles Mackerras (conductor)
Words/Music: Trad arr Mackerras
Recording: EMI CDM 763574

The first Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel! 

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!


Artist: The Sixteen, Grace Davidson (soprano), Jeremy Budd (tenor), Harry Christophers (dir)
Words/Music: Wither/Vaughan Williams
Recording: Coro 216085

Sweet baby, sleep! what ails my dear,
What ails my darling thus to cry?
Be still, my child, and lend thine ear
To hear me sing thy lullaby.
My pretty lamb, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.

The King of kings, when he was born,
Had not so much for outward ease;
By Him such dressings were not worn,
Nor such like swaddling-clothes as these.
Sweet baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

The wants that He did then sustain
Have purchased wealth, my babe, for thee;
And by His torments and His pain
Thy rest and ease securèd be.
My baby, then forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.


Artist: St Michael’s Singers, Coventry Cathedral
Words/Music: Rosetti/Holst
Recording: Integrity Music 2011

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.


Artist: Choir of Wells Cathedral, Malcolm Archer (dir), Rupert Gough (organ)
Words/Music: Psalm 23 paraphrased Baker/Dykes
Recording: Griffin GCCD 4010

The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his,
and he is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me;
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death's dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thy unction grace bestoweth;
and oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.


Artist: Scottish Philharmonic Singers
Words/Music: Psalm 121/Ravenscroft
Recording: Abbey 28230

I to the hills will lift mine eyes,
from whence doth come mine aid.
My safety cometh from the Lord,
who heav'n and earth hath made.

Thy foot he'll not let slide, nor will
he slumber that thee keeps.
Behold, he that keeps Israel,
he slumbers not, nor sleeps.

The Lord thee keeps, the Lord thy shade
on thy right hand doth stay:
The moon by night thee shall not smite,
nor yet the sun by day.

The Lord shall keep thy soul; he shall
preserve thee from all ill.
Henceforth thy going out and in
God keep for ever will.


Artist: St Thomas Music Group, Margaret Rizza (dir)
Words/Music: Trad/Rizza
Recording: Kevin Mayhew490095

The guarding of the God of Life be on you,
the guarding of the loving Christ be on you
the guarding of the Holy Spirit be on you,
to aid and uphold you each day and night of your life.

The guarding of God
the guarding of Christ,
the guarding of the Holy Spirit,
be upon you.