A Modern Setting of Anne Steele's Hymn
"Father of Mercies, In Your Word"

Well, I think the usual tune to this hymn is great, but as usual it is entirely geared to four part singing. Indeed there is no accompaniment available for piano etc. Any attempt to do it with guitars is terrible, and anyway sends out all sorts of old-fashioned messages to hearers.

The six verse version of the words needs very little modernisation to make it accessible to modern congregations, so although this new tune (Feltham - after the church where it was first sung) is totally new, the words are very similar to Anne Steele's original. Indeed a couple of very minor tweaks were required so that the strong emphasis came on the first word of certain lines, in order to avoid the suggestion of merely sentimental, man-centredness. Hence 'New life and everlasting joys' in verse 2 instead of the original 'And life and everlasting joys' (which, in any case, contained far too many ands!)

1. Father of mercies in your Word,
What endless glory shines!
Forever be your name adored
For these celestial lines.
Here may the blind and hungry come
And light and food receive;
Here shall the lowliest guest have room,
And taste and see and live.
2. Here springs of consolation rise
To cheer the fainting mind,
And thirsting souls receive supplies
And sweet refreshment find.
Here the Redeemer's welcome voice
Spreads heavenly peace around,
New life and everlasting joys
Attend the blissful sound.
3. Oh, may these heavenly pages be
My ever dear delight;
And still new beauties may I see
And still increasing light!
Divine Instructor, gracious Lord,
Remain forever near;
Teach me to love your sacred Word
And view my Saviour here.
Anne Steele (altd.)

In order to make sure that Anne Steele's words are not lost to modern congregations, the following setting is offered freely.

Here is the modern version, for piano, of 'Feltham' (with guitar chords) Feel free to download it and use it, but do not alter it. Copyright David W. Legg 2006.

PDF version of Father of Mercies
PDF version for printing.
(PDF out of Rosegarden)
MIDI version of Father of Mercies
MIDI version to download and
listen to using a MIDI player.
Rosegarden 4 version of Father of Mercies
Rosegarden 4 version for getting
alternative prints from.

Another setting with only the usual 6 verses and a different lot of modern words is available in the Praise Hymnal. Tediously, these are copyright.

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