January 26, 2021

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (9): For the Beauty of the Earth

By Chaplain Mike

On this Lord’s Day, we present a familiar hymn of praise by which we thank God for his common grace and the gifts of beauty and love that flow from it.

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
‘Lord of all, to Thee we raise
this our joyful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flow’r
Sun and Moon and stars of light
‘Lord of all, to Thee we raise
this our joyful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child.
Friends on earth and friends above
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
‘Lord of all, to Thee we raise
this our joyful hymn of praise.

For each perfect gift of Thine
To our race so freely given.
Graces human and divine
Flow’rs of earth and buds of heav’n.
‘Lord of all, to Thee we raise
this our joyful hymn of praise.

For thy church that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love
‘Lord of all, to Thee we raise
this our joyful hymn of praise.

• Note: An alternate refrain is sometimes sung:
Christ, our God, to Thee we raise
This, our sacrifice of praise.

Text: Fol­li­ot S. Pier­point
Music: This hymn is usually sung to the tune DIX, by Con­rad Koch­er

• • •

Here is a beautiful alternate arrangement that was composed by Philip Stopford in 2003 for the Harvest Festival Service at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Stopford conducts his chamber choir, Ecclesium.


  1. Thank you, Chaplain Mike! This hymn brings back fond memories, and I haven’t heard it in a long time.

  2. Also one of my very favourite hymns. I especially like the John Rutter setting. If you’ve not heard it, or, better yet, sung it, agitate within your choir to do so. ;D It’s easier than you think!

  3. Isaac (the poster occasionally still known as Obed) says

    Oh, this is definitely one of my favorites. There was a recent(ish) Prairie Home Companion where in the News from Lake Woebegone section St. Garrison sang some of this as part of the story…. made it my favorite episode. I LOVE this hymn!

  4. Often sang an abbreviated version of this as thanks at meals when I was growing up. Still one of my favorite hymns.

    I especially like its gentle rendering of what it’s like to live in the kingdom and fellowship of God’s love. That theme, and especially a gentle and thankful tone of it, is missing in a lot of the more modern music, which at its worst can devolve to a sort of gloating triumphalism. Thanks for once again keeping it real once again here on iMonk.

  5. God works in subtle and mysterious ways. While out birdwatching this morning, I was overtaken by the beauty and grace before me, and began to spontaneously sing this very hymn aloud while hiking through the mesquite and sagebrush near a river bed. I hadn’t sung it, or heard it, in years. And then I come here, and here it is.

    Synchronicity is just God winking, I think.

  6. Christiane says

    beautiful . . .

    thank you, Chaplain Mike

  7. One of my all-time favorites that I didn’t discover until I joined the Episcopal church seven years ago! Loved it so much that it was the offertory hymn when my now-husband and I got married almost two years ago. But I have to admit, that was prompted in part of the wedding scene in the latest “Little Women” movie, which I am entirely too fond of 🙂

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