Speak Forth Your Word, O Father

Representative text cannot be shown for this hymn due to copyright.

Author: Charles Jeffries

Jeffries, Sir Charles Joseph. (Beckenham, Kent, UK, 1896--December 10, 1972, Bromley, London). Church of England. Son of C.D. Jeffries. Married Myrtle Bennett, 1921. Graduated Malvern College and Magdalen College, Oxford. Lieutenant, Wilts Regiment, British Army, 1915-1917; Second Class Clerk, Colonial Office, 1917-1920; Principal, Colonial Office, 1920-1930; Assistant Secretary and Establishment Officer, Colonial Office, 1930-1939; Assistant Under-Secretary of State, Colonial Office, 1939-1947; Joint Department Under-Secretary of State, Colonial Office, 1947-1956. Vice president for many years of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel; member of the governing board of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; member o… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Speak forth your word, O Father
Title: Speak Forth Your Word, O Father
Author: Charles Jeffries (1967)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: By permission of Oxford University Press


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Deut. 8:3, Matt. 4:4
st. 4 = Rom. 10:14-17, 2 Tim. 4:2

Charles J. Jeffries (b. London, England, 1896; d. Bromley, Kent, England, 1972) wrote this hymn text in 1967, revealing a zeal for the mission of the church that he also expressed in his life and work. After studies at Malvern College and Magdalen College, Oxford, England, he served on the continent in World War I and was seriously injured; his voice was also damaged. He spent his career as a public servant in the Colonial Office, rising to joint deputy under secretary of state. Knighted in 1956, he served on the boards of the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge and the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Versions of his text were published in the Lutheran Worship Supplement (1969) and in the Canadian Anglican and United Hymn Book (1971), where it was set to the tune DURROW. Of the five original stanzas, 1-3 are included and a fourth stanza combines parts of Jeffries's stanzas 4 and 5.

Inspired by Deuteronomy 8:3, which is quoted by Christ in Matthew 4:4–"One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (NRSV)–this text is a prayer that all modern means of communication be used to spread the gospel. As we sing the final stanza, we dedicate ourselves to be effective witnesses for the cause of Christ.

Liturgical Use:
Services that focus on modern missions and evangelism, encouraging the use of contemporary media to spread the gospel; ordination/commissioning of mission personnel.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988



DURROW was originally a traditional Irish folk melody associated with "Captain Thomson," a sea song from Ireland's Limerick region (Durrow is the name of a town in Ireland between Port Laoise and Kilkenny). The tune first appeared as a hymn tune in the Church Hymnary of 1927. The harmonization by Wi…

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Composed by Samuel S. Wesley (PHH 206), AURELIA (meaning "golden") was published as a setting for “Jerusalem the Golden” in Selection of Psalms and Hymns, which was compiled by Charles Kemble and Wesley in 1864. Though opinions vary concerning the tune's merits (Henry J. Gauntlett once condemned…

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Instances (1 - 2 of 2)
Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #529

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #640

Include 4 pre-1979 instances
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