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Hymns / Music :: Eternal Father, Strong To Save

"Rescue me and deliver me in Your righteousness; turn Your ear to me and save me." Psalm 71:2

Hymns Supplied Through the Gracious Generosity
of the Cyber Hymnal Website

William Whiting (1825-1878) Words: William Whiting, 1860. He wrote the lyrics as a poem for a student about to sail for America.

Music: "Melita," John Bacchus Dykes, 1860


Play MIDI

John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876)

In America, "Eternal Father" is often called the "Navy Hymn," because it is sung at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It is also sung on ships of the British Royal Navy and has been translated into French. It was the favorite hymn of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and was sung at his funeral in Hyde Park, New York, in April 1945. The Navy Band played it in 1963 as U.S. President John Kennedy's body was carried up the steps of the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. Roosevelt served as Secretary of the Navy and Kennedy was a PT boat commander in World War II.

It was reported (and disputed) that this hymn was sung as the Titanic sank. It was sung during the film Titanic, which won the Academy Award for best picture of 1997.


Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who biddest the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy Word,
Who walked on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our family shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect us wheresoever we go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Alternate verses:

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Though the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!

Aloft in solitudes of space,
Uphold them with Thy saving grace.
Thou Who supports with tender might
The balanced birds in all their flight.
Lord, if the tempered winds be near,
That, having Thee, they know now fear.

Mary C. D. Hamilton (1915)

Eternal Father, Lord of hosts,
Watch over the men who guard our coasts.
Protect them from the raging seas
And give them light and life and peace.
Grant them from Thy great throne above
The shield and shelter of Thy love.

Author unknown

God, Who dost still the restless foam,
Protect the ones we love at home.
Provide that they should always be
By Thine own grace both safe and free.
O Father, hear us when we pray
For those we love so far away.

Hugh Taylor (date unknown)

O Father, King of earth and sea,
We dedicate this ship to Thee.
In faith we send her on her way;
In faith to Thee we humbly pray:
O hear from heaven our sailor's cry
And watch and guard her from on high!

Author/date unknown

And when at length her course is run,
Her work for home and country done,
Of all the souls that in her sailed
Let not one life in Thee have failed;
But hear from heaven our sailor's cry,
And grant eternal life on high!

Author/date unknown


Click here to hear the U.S. Navy Band's Sea Chanters sing this hymn (668 KB WAV file).

Information about Cyber Hymnal Website
Link to obtain musical score info
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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