This song has special meaning for me. In the days following my mother’s death, one year ago today, I struggled to choose a song for her funeral. There are lots of websites with suggestions for funeral hymns. When I saw the lyrics to this song, I knew I had found the perfect one.
It was written by Jan Struther, pseudonym of Joyce Maxtone Graham (1901-1953). She passed away the year my mother was born, also of breast cancer, and wrote Mrs. Miniver, which was later turned into one of my mom’s favorite movies. It is set to the tune of Slane, a traditional Irish melody. You may recognize it as Be Thou My Vision.
“Lord of All Hopefulness” by Jan Struther, 1901-1953
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can 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 eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord at the noon 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.
Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.