Strengthen for Service, Lord, the Hands

Representative Text

1 Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands
that holy things have taken;
let ears that now have heard thy songs
to clamour never waken.

2 Lord, may the tongues which 'Holy' sang
keep free from all deceiving;
the eyes which saw thy love be bright,
thy blessèd hope perceiving.

3 The feet that tread thy holy courts
from light do thou not banish;
the bodies by thy Body fed
with thy new life replenish.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #463

Author: St. Ephraem, Syrus

Ephraem Syrus. About A.D. 307 there was born at Nisibis, in northern Mesopotamia, Ephraem or Ephraim Syrus, the most celebrated father of the Syrian church, and famous not only as a theologian, but also as a poet and hymn-writer. Historians differ as to the details of his life; but it is known that having first been a pupil of James, bishop of Nisibis, he finished his education at Edessa, where for the rest of his days he chiefly resided. He visited Basil at Caesarea, in Cappadocia, and by him he was ordained to the office of deacon. He died at Edessa in June, 373. Ephraim was a most voluminous writer of commentaries, expository sermons, hymns, and metrical homilies. Metrical Homilies, first mentioned in connection with him,… Go to person page >

Translator: C. W. Humphreys

(no biographical information available about C. W. Humphreys.) Go to person page >

Translator: Percy Dearmer

Dearmer, Percy, M.A., son of Thomas Dearmer, was born in London, Feb. 27, 1867, and educated at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A. 1890, M.A. 1896). He was ordained D. 1891, P. 1892, and has been since 1901 Vicar of S. Mary the Virgin, Primrose Hill, London. He has been Secretary of the London Branch of the Christian Social Union since 1891, and is the author of The Parson's Handbook, 1st edition, 1899, and other works. He was one of the compilers of the English Hymnal, 1906, acting as Secretary and Editor, and contributed to it ten translations (38, 95, 150, 160, 165, 180, 215, 237, 352, 628) and portions of two others (242, 329), with the following originals:— 1. A brighter dawn is breaking. Easter. Suggested by… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands
Title: Strengthen for Service, Lord, the Hands
Author: St. Ephraem, Syrus
Translator: C. W. Humphreys
Translator: Percy Dearmer
Source: The Liturgy of Malabar
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Communion Songs


Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands. [Holy Communion.] This, in The English Hymnal, 1906, is a metrical rendering of a prayer in the Malabar Liturgy (it is also in the Liturgy of the Nestorians; see F. E. Brightman's Liturgies Eastern and Western, 1896, p. 300) said by the Deacon while the people are communicating. It was versified by Mr. C. W. Humphreys (from the prose tr. in Dr. J. M. Neale's Liturgies of S. Mark, S. James, S. Clement, S. Chrysostom and the Church of Malabar, 1859, p. 156; Canon Brightman informs me that the Syriac text is in the Rome ed., 1844, of the Uniat Missal of Malabar, which is the old Nestorian rite of the Christians of St. Thomas, as modified in South India in 1599), contributed to The English Hymnal, and partly rewritten, with his consent, by Mr. Dearmer. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



The Cyber Hymnal #6373
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Small Church Music #6018
  • PDF Score (PDF)


Instances (1 - 20 of 20)

Agape #87


Ancient and Modern #463

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #680

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #446

Common Praise (1998) #87

Page Scan

Common Praise #323


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #619


Evangelical Lutheran Worship #497

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #421

Hymns and Psalms #626

TextPage Scan

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #423

Hymns Old and New #460

Rejoice in the Lord #569

Sing Glory #473


Small Church Music #6018


The Cyber Hymnal #6373

The Hymnal 1982 #312

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #306


Together in Song #496

生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #466

Include 18 pre-1979 instances
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