‘All My Hope on God is Founded’ – what are the hymn’s lyrics?

19 September 2022, 11:56

'All My Hope on God is Founded' will be sung by the congregation and Choir of St George's Chapel at The Committal of Queen Elizabeth II
'All My Hope on God is Founded' will be sung by the congregation and Choir of St George's Chapel at The Committal of Queen Elizabeth II. Picture: Alamy

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Based on a 17th-century German text and chorale melody, ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’ grew in popularity in the second half of the 20th century.

Flick through any hymnbook in the English-speaking world, and it’s likely you’ll find ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’. German in origin, the hymn was based on a text called ‘Meine Hoffnung stehet feste’, written around 1680 by Joachim Neander, considered among the most important German hymnists.

In 1899, poet Robert Bridges, who would later become England’s poet laureate, translated the text. At the time, Bridges was choir master for the parish church of St Peter and St Paul, in the village of Yattendon where he lived.

Bridges, feeling disappointed in the range of hymns available at the turn of the century, published his own collection of 100 hymns, The Yattendon Hymnal (1899). Among them, 44 were written or translated by him, including ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’ at number 69.

Read more: ‘Love Divine, all Loves Excelling’ – lyrics to Charles Wesley’s beloved hymn

Who wrote the music for ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’?

The original music for ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’ was a German Chorale melody, ‘Meine Hoffnung’.

But in 1930, the English composer Herbert Howells, whose most famous melodies include ‘A Spotless Rose’, was asked to compose a new tune.

Bridges’ English translation, together with Howells’ melody, became increasingly well-known in the second half of the 20th century.

The Choir of St George’s Chapel will sing ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’ together with the congregation, at The Committal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 19 September 2022.

Read more: What are the lyrics to ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’?

English composer Herbert Howells, pictured working on a score in July 1947.
English composer Herbert Howells, pictured working on a score in July 1947. Picture: Alamy

What are the lyrics to ‘All My Hope on God is Founded’?

All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew.
Me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

Human pride and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple, fall to dust.
But God’s power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

God’s great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendour, light, and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
Evermore
from his store
new-born worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth th’ Almighty giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.

Still from earth to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.