Jesus the Very Thought of Thee

This is a hymn about Jesus and his Holy Name.  The words are based on the Latin hymn, Jesu Dulcis Memoria, which is attributed to 12th century Cistercian  abbot, mystic, co-founder of the Knights Templar, Doctor of the church and later Saint, Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153).   It is the Vespers hymn for the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.

The English translation was made by English Anglican priest, scholar and hymnwriter, and later Roman Catholic convert-priest, Edward Caswall (1814-1878).

With meter, tunes it is set to include:
  • ST. AGNES (Dykes) by J. B. Dykes (1823–1876)
  • METZLER'S REDHEAD by Richard Redhead
  • CLAIRVAUX by H A Polack (1862-1930)
  • SAWLEY (Walch) by English musician and James Walch (1837-1901).


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Choir with organ:

Solo singer with light orchestration:

Massed choir with organ:

Instrumental - violin with piano:


Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast.
But sweeter far thy face to see,
And in thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the mind recall
A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
O Saviour of us all.

O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah, this
Nor tongue nor pen can show.
The love of Jesus, what it is
None but his loved ones know.

Jesus, our only joy be thou,
As thou our prize wilt be.
Jesus, be thou our glory now,
And through eternity.

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