Thy Temple is not made with hands

Representative Text

1 Thy Temple is not made with hands,
'Tis lit by many a golden star;
The purple height of mountain lands
Its everlasting pillars are.

2 Thee, highest heaven cannot contain,
Great Lord of earth, and sky, and sea!
Yet enter in, and bless the fane
Adoring hands have reared for Thee.

[3* Unworthy gifts and touched with fears,
And memories of our loved at rest;
Draw nigh, O Lord, and dry our tears,
And be Thy presence here confest.]

4 For welcome to the babe new-born,
For strengthening hands on bended head,
For blessings on the marriage morn,
And sweet words whispered o'er the dead;

5 For food divine to souls sufficed,
For words that warn, for prayers that press,
Arise and enter in, O Christ!
And with Thy presence all things bless.

6 So praise to Thy great Name shall rise
Up from these walls, this sacred floor,
Who made, Who saves, Who sanctifies,
Forever and for evermore.


* To be used of a memorial church

Source: The Church Hymnal: revised and enlarged in accordance with the action of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892. (Ed. B) #295

Author: Cecil Frances Alexander

As a small girl, Cecil Frances Humphries (b. Redcross, County Wicklow, Ireland, 1818; Londonderry, Ireland, 1895) wrote poetry in her school's journal. In 1850 she married Rev. William Alexander, who later became the Anglican primate (chief bishop) of Ireland. She showed her concern for disadvantaged people by traveling many miles each day to visit the sick and the poor, providing food, warm clothes, and medical supplies. She and her sister also founded a school for the deaf. Alexander was strongly influenced by the Oxford Movement and by John Keble's Christian Year. Her first book of poetry, Verses for Seasons, was a "Christian Year" for children. She wrote hymns based on the Apostles' Creed, baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Ten Commandment… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Thy Temple is not made with hands
Author: Cecil Frances Alexander
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Thy Temple is not made with hands. Cecil F. Alexander. [Consecration of a Church.] This hymn is in Mrs. Alexander's Poems, 1896, p. 49, as a "Consecration Hymn." Its date has not been determined.

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



Instances (1 - 8 of 8)

Sacred Songs for Church and Home #d514

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The Church Hymnal #295

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The Church Hymnal #295

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The Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892 #295

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The Hymnal #295a

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The Hymnal #295b

The Methodist Protestant Church Hymnal #d474

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The Primitive Methodist Church Hymnal #413

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