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For all the Saints, who from their labor rest

Representative Text

1 For all the saints who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2 Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4 O blest communion, fellowship divine,
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5 And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6 The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warrior cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7 But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

8 From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #408

Author: William Walsham How

How, William Walsham, D.D., son of William Wybergh How, Solicitor, Shrewsbury, was born Dec. 13, 1823, at Shrewsbury, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A. 1845). Taking Holy Orders in 1846, he became successively Curate of St. George's, Kidderminster, 1846; and of Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, 1848. In 1851 he was preferred to the Rectory of Whittington, Diocese of St. Asaph, becoming Rural Dean in 1853, and Hon. Canon of the Cathedral in 1860. In 1879 he was appointed Rector of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, and was consecrated Suffragan Bishop for East London, under the title of the Bishop of Bedford, and in 1888 Bishop of Wakefield. Bishop How is the author of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Commen… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: For all the Saints, who from their labor rest
Author: William Walsham How (1864)
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Alleluia! Alleluia!


Scripture References: st. 1 = Rev. 14:13, Heb. 12:1-2 st. 3 = Rev. 2:10 st. 4 = John 17:22 st. 6 = Prov. 4:18 st. 7 = Rev. 7:9-17 "For All the Saints" is considered to be William W. How's (PHH 279) finest hymn text. Originally in eleven stanzas, it was published in Earl Nelson's Hymns for Saints' Days (1864) with the heading, "Saints' Day Hymn. A Cloud of Witnesses. Heb. 12:1." The Psalter Hymnal includes the original stanzas 1-2, 6-8, and 10-11, with modernized pronouns. (Among the stanzas omitted in most hymnals are those that begin "for all the apostles," "for all the evangelists," and "for all the martyrs.") The text begins with a proclamation of thanksgiving for the saints ("the cloud of witnesses") who confessed Christ and found in him protection and inspiration (st. 1-2). That proclamation is followed by a prayer for Christ's soldiers on earth to be "faithful, true, and bold" (st. 3). At the crux of the text is the confession of a "blest communion" of saints in heaven and on earth (st. 4). Though the holy warfare may be "fierce and long" (st. 5), "all the saints" may take courage from the vision of a victorious church that worships the triune God on that "more glorious day" (st. 6-7). Liturgical Use: Traditionally for All Saints Day (the first Sunday in November) and similar church festivals; worship that emphasizes the church as militant and triumphant; funerals. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook ================== For all Thy [the] saints who from their labours rest. Bp. W. W. How. [Saints' Days.] First published in Hymn for Saints' Day, and Other Hymns. By a Layman [Earl Nelson], 1864, in 11 stanzas of 3 lines, and the refrain "Alleluia." It was republished in Lyra Britannica, 1867; in the Sarum Hymnal, 1868; in the 1869 Appendix to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Psalms & Hymns, and subsequently in nearly every hymnal of importance published in Great Britain. It is also found in the best collections of all English-speaking countries, and, with hymnal compilers, it is one of the most popular of the author's compositions. It is sometimes given in American hymnals (as it is in the S. P. C. K. Church Hymns, as "For all the saints," &c, this being Bishop How's revised reading. In the Protestant Episcopal Hymnal, 1872, stanzas iii.-v. are given as a separate hymn (No. 186), beginning, "For the Apostles' glorious company." Original text as above. Authorized text in S. P. C. K. Church Hymns. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) ================= For all Thy [the] saints who from their labours rest, p. 380, ii. The alterations in the text of this hymn, as given in the 1904 edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, were reluctantly sanctioned by Bp. How shortly before his death in 1897. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



Ralph Vaughan Williams (PHH 316) composed SINE NOMINE for this text and published it in the English Hymnal in 1906. Vaughan Williams wrote two harmonizations¬–one for unison stanzas and one for choral stanzas. The tune's title means "without name" and follows the Renaissance tradition of naming c…

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SARUM (Barnby)



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Instances (1 - 76 of 76)
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50 Uncommon Songs #8

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African American Heritage Hymnal #339

Ambassador Hymnal #164


Ancient and Modern #296

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #190

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Baptist Hymnal 1991 #355

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Baptist Hymnal 2008 #595


Catholic Book of Worship III #449

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Celebrating Grace Hymnal #567

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Chalice Hymnal #637

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Christian Worship #551

Church Family Worship #550

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #459

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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #740

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Common Praise (1998) #276

Common Praise #232


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #177


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #178

Complete Mission Praise #148

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #554


Evangelical Lutheran Worship #422

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Gather (3rd ed.) #884

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Gather Comprehensive #793

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Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #791

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Glory to God #326


Hymnal 1982 #287

Hymnal #636

Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #305

Hymns and Psalms #814


Hymns for a Pilgrim People #500

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #567

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Hymns of Promise #138

Hymns of the Saints #480

Hymns Old and New #134

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Hymns to the Living God #293

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Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #728

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Lift Up Your Hearts #254

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Lutheran Service Book #677


Lutheran Worship #191

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Moravian Book of Worship #390

Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #724

Praise y Adoración #194a

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Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #477


Presbyterian Hymnal #526

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #505

Rejoice Hymns #605

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Rejoice in the Lord #397

RitualSong (2nd ed.) #984

RitualSong #889

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #421

Sing Glory #636


Sing Joyfully #548

Singing the Faith #745


Small Church Music #55

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Songs for Life #195

The Book of Hymns (A fresh anthology of favourite hymns) #206

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The Celebration Hymnal #767

The Covenant Hymnal #767


The Cyber Hymnal #1426

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The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #546

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The New Century Hymnal #299


The New English Hymnal #197

The New National Baptist Hymnal #424

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The New National Baptist Hymnal (21st Century Edition) #301


The Song Book of the Salvation Army #876

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The United Methodist Hymnal #711

The Willard Hymnary #5

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The Worshiping Church #751


Together in Song #455

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #358

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #408

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Voices United #705

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Worship (3rd ed.) #705

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Worship (4th ed.) #891

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Worship and Rejoice #529

찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship #388

Include 409 pre-1979 instances
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