Just for Today (Lord for tomorrow and its needs)

This hymn of petition for personal holiness is attributed to English Anglican clergyman, and later bishop, Canon Ernest R. Wilberforce ((1840-1805) and Notre Dame Sister Mary Xavier (1856-1917).

With meter, tunes it has been set to include:
  • LORD FOR TOMORROW / PROVIDENCE by Richard Runciman Terry (1865-138):  many of the more recent publications use this this tune
  • VINCENT also known as TODAY - by Horatio R Palmer (1834-1907)
  • BELLEVILLE- by James Edmnud Jones (1866-)
  • JUST FOR TODAY - by George C Stebbins
  • JENKINS - by Carl F Crusuis, 1921
  • BROUGHTON - by Herbert Sanders (1879-).

The original lyrics have been modified many times by editors, sometimes to deal with changes in language use. Some published versions end each verse with "Just for today", while others have variations on this phrase. The verse about "purgatory's cleansing fire" is rarely published today.


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Choir and congregation with organ, tune PROVIDENCE

Massed choir with orchestra:

Choir with piano - recorded live in a church service:

Instrumental - piano:


Lord, for tomorrow and its needs
I do not pray;
Keep me, my God, from every sin (1)
Just for today.

Help me both diligently work(2)
And duly pray;
Let me be kind in word and deed,
Father, today.

Let me be slow to do my will,
Prompt to obey;
Help me to sacrifice myself
Gladly, today.

Let me no wrong or idle word
Unthinking say;
Set thou a seal upon my lips
Through all today.

Let me in season, Lord, be grave,
In season play:(3)
Let me be faithful to thy grace,
Dear Lord, today.

And if today this life of mine
Should ebb away,
Give me thy Sacrament divine,
Father, today.

(4) In Purgatory's cleansing fire
Brief be my stay;
O bid me, if today I die,
Go home today.

So for tomorrow and its needs
I do not pray:
Still keep me, guide me, love me, Lord,
Through each today.

(1) Originally "stain of sin"

(2) Originally "Help me to labour earnestly"

(3) Originally "In season gay:"

(4) This verse is usually omitted

ABC Notation

Ref:  What is ABC

T:Just for Today
A:Sr Mary Xavier (1856-1917)
C:Richard Runciman Terry (1865-138)
Z:abc-transcription www.GodSongs.net ,
"C"  c B/2A/2 "Am" A G | "Dm" F D "F"  C2 |     C2     F G | "G"G4 |
"Bb" B B/2B/2 "Am" A G | "Dm" F G "Am" A2 | "F" F2 "Dm"F E | "F"F4 |]

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1 comment:

  1. There were originally 8 verses to this hymn. The hymn tune ‘Providence’ was only harmonised by Sir Richard R Terry, the composer of the tune was Laurence Ampleforth (one of the Brethren of Ampleforth Abbey) you can find this reference in the 1912 edition of The Westminster Hymnal which was compiled by Sir Richard R Terry