Hymn #7: God Be In My Head and In My Understanding

This text is from a publication called the Sarum Primer, originally published in 1514.  I haven’t been able to find much about the history of this book.  Anyone out there have more info??





God Be In My Head and In My Understanding

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God be in my head and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes and in my looking;
God be in my mouth and in my speaking;
God be in my heart and in my thinking;
God be at my end and in my parting.

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10 Responses to Hymn #7: God Be In My Head and In My Understanding

  1. Mama G says:

    I love the piano and the flowing quality of the melody. It sounds like you’re on a boat. I’ve read these lyrics somewhere, but don’t remember having sung them. Thanks for the remake!

  2. m.f.keat says:

    Should the final word of this hymn be “departing” rather than “parting”?

    • mvanpatter says:

      Thanks for checking out Hymns of the Weak. I came across several variations of the text when I started writing. You could definitely be right that “departing” is the original. I used a version I found on hymnary.org. Thanks again for listening.

  3. Hugh James says:

    There seems to be an awful lot of uncertainty about this beautiful hymn. Many hymn books attribute it to Pynson’s Horae (praise for each hour of the day) of 1514. Richard Pynson was a publisher who did publish religious works but I could not find an “Horae” in a catalogue of his Works for 1514.Others attribute it to a Sarum (Salisbury) primer of 1558.

    Sorry is all I can do is create additional uncertainty.

  4. Román Emin says:

    Is a wonderful work, thanks for sharing.

  5. Virginia Ellenberg. says:

    i have had the phrase,god be in my heart and in my understanding, running around in my head for weeks! thanks for the verse…i think i must have sung it in church as a child.

  6. O. Eduardo Alfonzo says:

    I remember singing this beautiful himn in my church choir three decades ago and today still come to my mind. This himn elevates my spirit to higher grounds…as I process the lirics, the harmonies of this soaring melody and its unique disonances, all together make me fell closer to the presence of God. There is a moment, as I play it, that it takes my heart in emotions that I can’t control.
    It is a beautiful prayer indeed!

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