The eternal [golden] gates lift up their heads

Representative Text

1 The golden gates are lifted up,
the doors are opened wide;
the King of glory is gone in
unto his Father's side.

2 Thou art gone up before us, Lord,
to make for us a place,
that we may be where now thou art,
and look upon God's face.

3 And ever on our earthly path
a gleam of glory lies,
a light still breaks behind the cloud
that veiled thee from our eyes.

4 Lift up our hearts, lift up our minds:
let thy dear grace be giv'n,
that, while we wander here below,
our treasure be in heav'n;

5 That where thou art, at God's right hand,
our hope, our love, may be:
dwell thou in us, that we may dwell
forevermore in thee.

Source: Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #294

Author: Cecil Frances Alexander

As a small girl, Cecil Frances Humphries (b. Redcross, County Wicklow, Ireland, 1818; Londonderry, Ireland, 1895) wrote poetry in her school's journal. In 1850 she married Rev. William Alexander, who later became the Anglican primate (chief bishop) of Ireland. She showed her concern for disadvantaged people by traveling many miles each day to visit the sick and the poor, providing food, warm clothes, and medical supplies. She and her sister also founded a school for the deaf. Alexander was strongly influenced by the Oxford Movement and by John Keble's Christian Year. Her first book of poetry, Verses for Seasons, was a "Christian Year" for children. She wrote hymns based on the Apostles' Creed, baptism, the Lord's Supper, the Ten Commandment… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The eternal [golden] gates lift up their heads
Author: Cecil Frances Alexander (1852, 1858)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


The eternal gates lift up their heads. Cecil F. Alexander, née Humphreys. [Ascension.] Contributed to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Hymns, 1852, No. 62, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines. In 1858 it was published in a revised form in Mrs. Alexander's Hymns Descriptive and Devotional, No. 14, as "The Golden gates are lifted up." It is in common use in both forms: but the earlier is the more widely used of the two. In addition st. iii., iv. are given in the American Unitarian Hymns of the Spirit, Boston, 1864, as "O, ever on our earthly path."

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 4 of 4)

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #284


The Cyber Hymnal #1956

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The New English Hymnal #133

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Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #294

Include 113 pre-1979 instances
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