Saturday, July 13, 2013


Richard Clarke, who has served as the music director of the St. Bartholomew Faith Community in Wayzata, Minnesota since 1994, has recently become a friend through the wonderful connective powers of sacred music. 

Recently, Richard asked me to take a look at a hymn called "All My Hope On God Is Founded" which is a hymn based on two different author's words which were set to music by Henry Howells in memory of his son who had died.  The hymn tune is MICHAEL named in honor of Michael Howells.

MICHAEL is a marvelous hymn tune and one that I did not know until Richard asked me to look at it.  So many thanks to him, for introducing it to me.  I have been working on it ever since he suggested it and had about three of the five stanzas nearly done, and then set it aside.  I awakened early this morning to find that the remaining work was more or less in my head, so finished it around daybreak today.
I have tried to stay close to the intention of the original in this version which, because it uses some lines from the original, I have said is: After “All My Hope On God Is Founded”.

In the writing of the hymn, I saw the connection to the passage from Colossians, so placed the quotation within the subtitle.  I also was very moved by the account of the writing of the tune, by Howells, in memory of his son.  In a way, I fear that treading on so personal an experience might be an intrusion upon grief expressed in faith, but on the other hand, I do feel that a hymn using first person plural instead of first person singular is more appropriate for congregational song. So those changes were part of this new hymn.

Also, I like to see some sense that our faith is at work in what we do, so have tried to incorporate a sense of doing and action in some of the lines, which might not have been expressed as clearly in the original.  I understand the first three stanzas in the original are from Jaachim Neander (1650-1680) and the last two were apparently written by Robert Seymore Bridges (1844-1930).  I hope they will forgive my tinkering with their poetry.

If you find that you like this new hymn text, please contact me regarding permission for its use in your worship.

Colossians 1:23  "Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.
 Text: John A. Dalles, 2013
Tune:  MICHAEL (In memory of his son, by Herbert Howells, 1892-1983)
Meter: 878767
 Every hope we have is grounded
In God’s grace forever true;
Change may challenge, chance may frighten,
Only God will see us through.
Do not fear; God is here—
Day by day and year by year!
Fame and fortune, gold and glory,
Tempt us and betray God’s trust;
Yet, with care God plans and fashions
Lasting works of righteousness.
God’s great power, hour by hour,
Is our temple and our tower.

God’s great goodness lasts forever—
God’s is brilliant, bold and wise,
God is light and life and splendor,
By God’s word new worlds arise—
Evermore from God’s store,
God creates us to adore.
Daily the Almighty Giver
grants us overflowing gifts;
God, our Maker, Guider, Savior,
Leads us forward and uplifts—
By God’s hand, may we stand,
And with joy do God’s command.

One and all, our voices raising,
May we pray “Thy will be done!”
High above all praises praising
Every grace of Christ the Son—
Do not fear; God is here—
Day by day and year by year!

After “All My Hope On God Is Founded”

Copyright © John A. Dalles, 2013.

 Permission granted for use in worship to Richard Clarke & the St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community, Wayzata, MN

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