The Church’s One Foundation: Festival Hymn of the Church

The History of The Church’s One Foundation Hymn.

A hymn that has an interesting origin and history is the hymn usually called by its first line, “The Church’s One Foundation.” It was written by Samuel J. Stone in 1866.

Samuel J. Stone

The story of its conception in the mind of the waiter is that he was impressed by the defense of the Catholic Faith made by Bishop Gray, of Capetown, against the teachings of Bishop Colenso. This fact gives it a historic association that adds interest and meaning to its stanzas, which in the original number ten.

The hymn as it appeared originally is an elaboration of that portion of the Apostles’ Creed which is indicated by the title, ‘The Holy Catholic Church: The Communion of Saints. He is the Head of the Body, the Church.”
This title is given to the hymn in the author’s collection known as “Lyra Fidelium.” It is a festival hymn of the church.

Below are some must-read posts on hymns history and lyrics:

The Day of Resurrection (Ancient Resurrection Hymn) Story and Lyrics

We give herewith those stanzas which are most familiar and most widely used.
The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the Word;
From heaven He came, and sought her
To be His holy Bride,
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.
Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation
One Lord, one Faith, one Birth;
One holy Name she blesses.
Partakes one holy food,
And to one Hope she presses.
With every grace endued.
Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore opprest,
By schisms rent asunder.
By heresies distrest;
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.
Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Church’s One Foundation Video

For links to other old and popular hymns visit this post.

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