This hymn expresses an experience of Grace Church from our very beginning when the walls of our former church building—St. James—collapsed. We discovered with that collapse that bricks and mortar are not the sure foundation; those materials crumble. We now rely on Christ as the true, reliable and SURE foundation.
Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord, and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion, help forever,
and her confidence alone.
All that dedicated city,
dearly loved of God on high,
in exultant jubilation
pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
in glad hymns eternally.
To this temple, where we call thee,
come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
with thy wonted lovingkindness
hear thy servants as they pray,
and thy fullest benediction
shed within its walls alway.
Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
what they ask of thee to gain;
what they gain from thee, forever
with the blessed to retain,
and hereafter in thy glory
evermore with thee to reign.
Latin, ca. 7th cent.; tr. Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861, after John Mason Neale (1818-1856), alt. These words are in the public domain.