Faith Of Our Fathers

by admin ~ November 30th, 2018. Filed under: Brandenburg.

When considering what to write here this week, “faith of our fathers” came to mind, so I decided to look into the song. I think my interest related to a patriarchal society and the attack on fatherhood by liberals or postmoderns, calling the patriarchal society only a social construct, that is, an environmental development, not instituted by God. However, what I learned about the hymn was that it was a Roman Catholic one written in 1849 by Frederick William Faber in memory of Roman Catholic martyrs from the period of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth of England. Faber wrote an Irish version with seven stanzas and England with four. The Irish continued to sing their version at their hurling matches all the way until the 1960s. The tune to which it has been sung is different in the UK than it is in the United States. The one in the U.S. is called “St. Catherine.” Protestant churches have adapted the song for their hymnals with the third verse removing Roman Catholic references to Mary. It is also a very common song sung in Seventh Day Adventism. If one judges the hymn itself, not knowing the history behind it, the words and tune are good. They are acceptable. The original message was the persecution of Roman Catholicism by another state church, the Anglican church. It is understandable why Henry was so angry with Roman Catholicism. It was a rare moment in history where Roman Catholics suffered the same fate that they had subjected true believers for large portions of their own history.

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