O God who Longs to Make us Whole

This hymn was written by English Anglican-raised, United Reformed Church minister, community health worker and hymn writer Michael Forster (1946-).

It was originally written in 1998, for a service held in Leicester Cathedral to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Britain's National Health Service (NHS).  The third verse was added in 2021, to recognise people other than NHS staff who served during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Copyright is owned by Kevin Mayhew Publications, but they have stated, in an email distributed to subscribers in May 2021, that the words may be reproduced royalty-free for use in worship, as long as authorship and copyright are acknowledged, no alterations are made and this authorisation is printed in full on all copies.

With meter 8.6.8.6, the hymn is set to the tune KINGSFOLD. This was collected by English folk-song collector and researcher Lucy E Broadwood (1858-1929), and first published in English Country Songs (1893), which was compiled by Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland.   The tune first set with a hymn-text and also harmonised by English composer Ralph Vaughan-Williams in 1906.  Because of this, the tune is sometimes incorrectly attributed to him. But the underlying melody is much older, and therefore in the public domain.



Downloads

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Examples

Instrumental - brass band:



Instrumental - harp:



Instrumental - piano:


Lyrics

The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available on this website. A rough outline is:
1 O God who longs to make us whole in body, spirit, mind ...

2 We give you thanks for those who strive that knowledge might increase ...

3 For those in countless walks of life who daily work and strive ...

4 O give us grace to trust your love when hope remains concealed ...

5 Give us, O God, your loving zeal to comfort, heal and save ...


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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
1 O God who longs to make us whole in body, spirit, mind,
we praise you for the hopes and dreams you share with humankind:
for those in pow’r whom you inspired to share the nation’s wealth,
that rich and poor alike might know security and health.

2 We give you thanks for those who strive that knowledge might increase;
for all in office, ward or home whose efforts never cease;
for those who give of wealth or self, who care or who campaign,
and all who bravely watch and wait to share your people’s pain;

3 For those in countless walks of life who daily work and strive
to keep each other safe and well, and help the weak to thrive;
for those who go beyond the call in myriad other ways,
and keep alive the light of hope in dark and cheerless days.

4 O give us grace to trust your love when hope remains concealed,
to watch and pray beside the ones who are not swiftly healed.
And grant us faith, when death itself provides its own release,
to trust in your undying love to give them perfect peace.

5 Give us, O God, your loving zeal to comfort, heal and save,
to care for one another ‘from the cradle to the grave’.
Then north to south, and east to west, let love and hope extend,
until the universe is whole and justice knows no end.

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