Faith of Our Fathers Living Still Lyrics
Author: Frederick William Faber
1 Faith of the martyrs, living still
in spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
whene’er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of the martyrs, holy faith,
we will be true to thee till death.
2 The martyrs chained in prison cells
were still in heart and conscience free,
and bless’d would be their children’s fate
if they, like them, should die for thee! [Refrain]
3 Faith of the martyrs, we will love
both friend and foe in all our strife,
and preach thee, too, as love knows how,
by saving word and faithful life! [Refrain]
Faith of Our Fathers Living Still Hymn History
Faith of Our Fathers Living Still is a Catholic hymn that was composed by Frederick Wiliam Faber in 1849.
It is one of the few hymns that have crossed the Catholic and Protestant divide.
Lately we have had one or two hymns composed by Catholics that have found a home in the Protestant world.
If, however, there was a person in the 1800s who could compose a hymn that would do that then Frederick William Faber fitted the bill perfectly.
I say this because Frederick William Faber had interactions with both groups.
Frederick William Faber was raised as a member of the Church of England and was ordained as a priest in the church of England in 1839.
He however left the Church of England to join the Catholic church in 1845 after being influenced by the teachings of John Henry Newman.
After joining he felt that the Catholic church was missing out in Christian music that was rapidly changing.
He felt that the Catholic church should follow the example of Protestant hymn writers such as John Newton, Johan and Charles Wesley, and William Cowper.
He then set out to compose hymns to be used in the Catholic church.
It is said that he composed over one hundred and fifty hymns. Faith of our fathers is probably his most famous hymns, at least, in the Protestant world.
There is a line in the original hymn that would have put off the Protestants of that time.
In the original hymn the third stanza mentioned Mary’s prayers which would have been a no-no for most Protestants as they say it is heresy to venerate the saints and Mary.
This is how the third stanza started: “Faith of Our Fathers! Mary’s prayers/Shall win our country back to thee.”
Below are more hymns’ stories and lyrics: