Hymn Story: Christ is made the sure foundation

Christ is Made the Sure Foundation was a Latin hymn written sometime in the late 6th or 7th Century under the title Urbs beata Jerusalem. The original hymn was sung as an unaccompanied plainsong melody.

In 1851, John Mason Neale translated the hymn from Latin into English.  Many modern versions of the texts vary greatly from his original translations.

The hymn has been set to two tunes the song is sung to today.  The melody Westminster Abbey has been adapted from final section of Henry Purcell’s anthem O God, thou art my God.  The second tune is Regent Square, by Henry Smart. 

The hymn has been performed at the marriage ceremonies of Princess Margaret in 1960 and Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981. It was also the opening hymn for the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee service in June 2022 and performed a few months later at her funeral in September 2022.

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