Scripture Verse

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1–2


Frederick W. Faber

Words: Fred­er­ick W. Fa­ber, Je­sus and Ma­ry (Lon­don: James Burns, 1849), pag­es 133–34, alt. Re­frain by James G. Wal­ton, 1874.

Music: St. Ca­the­rine (Wal­ton) ar­ranged by James G. Wal­ton in Crown of Je­sus Mu­sic, by Hen­ri F. He­my (Lon­don: 1864) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

  • Sawston tra­di­tion­al me­lo­dy, in Crown of Je­sus, 1864 (🔊 pdf nwc)

If you know where to get a good pho­to of He­my or Wal­ton (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


This hymn was sung at the 1915 fun­er­al of Fan­ny Cros­by in the First Me­tho­dist Epis­co­pal Church in Bridge­port, Con­nec­ti­cut.

It was al­so sung at the 1945 fun­er­al of Am­er­i­can pre­si­dent Frank­lin De­la­no Roo­se­velt, in the East Room of the White House in Wash­ing­ton, DC.


Faith of our fathers! 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 our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free:
How sweet would be their children’s fate,
If they, like them, could die for Thee!


Faith of our fathers! we will strive
To win all nations unto Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.


Faith of our fathers! we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach Thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life.


Reflecting Faber’s Catholic roots, the original third stanza was:

Faith of our fathers, Mary’s prayers
Shall win our country back to Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
England shall then indeed be free.