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Hymn of the week: “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”


A hymn for the 31st Week in Ordinary Time.

“Eternal Father, Strong to Save” was written in 1860 by William Whiting. In the late 19th century the hymn became closely associated with the Royal and United States navies and is sometimes referred to as “The Navy Hymn.” Although Whiting wrote many poems in his time, contributing to more than a dozen hymn collections, this is the one he is best known for.

It was set to a melody called “MELITA,” composed by John Bacchus Dykes. The melody was written specifically for Whiting’s text, which is the poetry most associated with the tune.

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