Monday, July 29, 2013

Be Thou My Vision (Strength in Hymn)

“Be Thou My Vision”
Dallan Forgail (8th Century)

Be Thou my Vision, oh Lord of my heart,
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, 
O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


Reading the words of this song makes me realize how much richer, more beautiful and less complicated life (and churches) would be if Jesus were everything to us, and fame and fortune were the "little deals" of life.  It reminds me of another hymn chorus: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus / Look full on his wonderful face / And the things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of his glory and grace."

My father chose this ancient Irish hymn for my mother's memorial service this past Saturday, explaining, "I am a Celt."  Six of my seven daughters - Mary, Julia, Rachel, Joanna, Lydia and Naomi - sang it, along with Mom's cousin Ruth.  Dad cried as he heard them rehearse on his porch, and he cried again when they sang it at the church. The older five, now all adults, used to sing together in their matching jumpers in our living room for our visiting friends and family.  It's been so long since they sang together, but this was so perfect!  My cousin, Dr. Mary Lynne Bennett, played the piano for this song and some of the others in the  service.  It was all beautiful.  I'll try to post more videos in coming weeks of the music, the eulogies, the Scripture readings, and more.

Here is the video - what harmony!

We are on our way home to Florida and I am exhausted from being away from home for 35 of the past 45 days.  The pictures are flowers at the service.

Virginia Knowles


  1. What a beautiful video. Be Thou My Vision is a gem. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. What a beautiful song to choose for this day. Blessings to you sweet sister and comfort from the King of Peace.

  2. What beautiful flowers and what a lovely way to honor your mother! May God grant you peace and comfort.

  3. Beautiful. This is one of my favorite hymns. I had goosebumps reading your post tonight. 2 of my children stood and sang at my own mother's funeral. You have me reminiscing a bit.
    I pray for comfort and healing for you and your family during this grieving time.

  4. Dear Virginia
    My deepest condolences with your mom's death! What a joy to know that you will be re-united again one day! Thanks for sharing this special day with us and the beautiful song!
    Blessings and love XX

  5. I love that song too especially when my daughter plays it on the piano.

  6. Hi Virginia! I am coming here from Still Saturday.

    I am so sorry to hear about your mother's passing. I hope you can hold on to your faith, friends and family in this tough time. Great song choice, Dad!


  7. Visiting from Deidra's. Be Thou My Vision is one of my favorite songs although I never sang it as a child. It is such a prayer for a thirsty soul. I lost my mother in January. The tears still come. A reminder that joy and grief walk hand in hand.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful hymn, flowers, and video from your mother's memorial service over at WholeHearted Wednesdays linkup.

  9. Virginia, my heart is with you. That is a beautiful song and it sounds like a wonderful ceremony in honor of your beloved mother!