Christ, Mighty Savior

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

What can possibly be so important that it is our first cry in the morning and our last thought at night? Belgic Confession, Article 20 testifies that God gave us “…his Son to die by a most perfect love” and then raised him to life “for our justification in order that by him we might have immortality and eternal life.”


Because of such perfect love, comfort can be found in the words of Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 1: “I belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” This is our cry—first thing in the morning and last thought at night!


Christ, Mighty Savior

Call to Worship

The following may be used at the beginning of an Easter Vigil service. It may also be further
adapted for other occasions of Easter worship.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ,
on this most holy night
when Jesus, our Lord, passed from death to life,
we gather, united with the church throughout the world,
to rehearse again all that God has promised
and to celebrate how all those promises are “Yes” in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
This is the Passover of Jesus Christ.
As people of this Passover,
we tell the whole story of God’s covenanting love.
We celebrate that by God’s grace this story is our story:
that God has grafted us into his Easter people,
helping us to share in Christ’s triumph over sin and death.
On this Passover night, we declare with joy:
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
In him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.”
—based on John 1:1, 4-5
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.”
—from John 8:12, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Christ, Mighty Savior

Tune Information

A♭ Major



Christ, Mighty Savior

Hymn Story/Background

This hymn text is rooted deeply in history, first as a nine stanza anonymous Latin hymn of the 10th century; second, translated into English by Alan McDougall as devotional poetry, and third, set in poetic form in five stanzas by Anne LeCroy, first published in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982.
Richard Dirksen composed this chant-like tune in 1983 for this text, in response to an appeal from the Episcopal Hymn Music Committee for new tunes to texts for whom they had not found an appropriate text. It was first sung in 1983 at the Washington Cathedral; Dirksen wrote, “It was not until evensong in the spring (1983) when we sang that the connection between the words, music, and window stunned me (and others) with glory.”  The window refers to the rose window high in the west wall of the nave of the Washington Cathedral, designed by stained-glass artist Rowan Le Compte.  Dirksen named the tune INNISFREE FARM, the name of the home and studio of Le Compte. This song was the first sung at the dedication of the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 at the Washington Cathedral in 1986.
Because of the challenges of singing this unmetered tune, two other tunes were also set to this text, including one by David Hurd also in the Hymnal 1982, and a later one by Dirksen, who revised the same tune into metric form, naming it DECATUR PLACE, though Paul Westermeyer wrote that “though the altered version works, ..the graceful wings of the original are clipped.”  
Let the People Sing, Paul Westermeyer, GIA Publications 2005, p. 372
— Paul Westermeyer

Author Information

Anne LeCroy (b. 1930) was a professor of English at East Tennessee State University, and author of a number of books, including The Altar Guild Handbook.
— Laura de Jong

Composer Information

Richard Dirksen (1921-2003) received his musical training at the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, Maryland. Holding the positions of precentor, organist, and choirmaster, he served at the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral (National Cathedral) in Washington, D.C., for more than four decades (1942-1991). Dirksen also directed the Cathedral Choral Society and the glee clubs of the St. Alban and the National Cathedral Schools. He has composed many anthems, an oratorio, and five operettas.
— Bert Polman

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