Who wrote the hymn 'Christ is made the sure foundation' and how old is it?

Did you know the hymn 'Christ is made the sure foundation' is over 1,000 years old?


Inspired by Ephesians ii. 20, 1 Peter ii. 5, and Revelation xxi, the hymn 'Christ is made the sure foundation' originates from the monastic Latin hymn Urbs beata Jerusalem dicta pacis, which dates back to the 6-7th centuries.

John Mason Neale translated Urbs beata Jerusalem dicta pacis into English in 1861 and the hymn 'Christ is made the sure foundation' was born. It is usually sung to the tune of Westminster Abbey, adapted from the final section of Henry Purcell's anthem O God, thou art my God.

'Christ is made the sure foundation' is published in 283 hymnals

Other hymns and carols translated by Neale include'Good Christian men rejoice', 'All Glory, Laud and Honor' and everyone's favourite 'Good King Wenceslas'

The hymn is a favourite among royals and has been featured in a few royal weddings, including sung the marriage of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960, and the then Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

It was also sung during both the Queen's Platinum Jubilee service and the Queen's funeral in September 2022.

Furthermore it has just been announced that 'Christ is made the sure foundation' will feature in the coronation service of King Charles III on 6 May 2023

'Christ is made the sure foundation' lyrics

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ, our head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion’s help forever
and our confidence alone.

To this temple, where we call you,
come, O Lord of hosts, and stay;
come with all your lovingkindness,
hear your people as they pray;
and your fullest benediction
speak within these walls today.

Grant, we pray, to all your faithful
all the gifts they ask to gain;
what they gain from you forever
with the blessed to retain;
And hereafter in your glory
evermore with you to reign.


Praise and honor to the Father,
praise and honor to the Son,
praise and honor to the Spirit,
ever three and ever one:
one in might and one in glory
while unending ages run!