'How Great Thou Art' is the hymn of choice to inspire hope during Covid-19

Published 28 May 2020  |  

'How Great Thou Art' is the most popular hymn for inspiring hope during the coronavirus pandemic, a poll by CAFOD has found.

The hymn is based on a 19th century Swedish poem that was translated into English in 1949 by missionary Stuart K Hine.

It came out on top in a Twitter poll by the Catholic aid agency to find out the hymn people are finding most helpful during the pandemic.

Over a third of respondents (37.7%) chose 'How Great Thou Art', beating 'Christ, Be Our Light' (30.2%), 'Be Not Afraid' (20%) and '10,000 Reasons' (12.1%).

The latest poll points to its enduring popularity after it came second place in the BBC Songs of Praise survey of the UK's favourite hymn last September, coming second only to 'Jerusalem'.

CAFOD's Head of Fundraising and Participation, Jo Kitterick, said: "Hymns inspire and express hope; whether those who enjoy them associate with a faith or not.

"Throughout the coronavirus lockdown we have seen so many people turning to hymns and prayer to help them through this difficult time.

"People have sorely missed attending Church over the last few months. Listening to, or singing hymns at home, helps us to continue to feel part of a community and connected to faith. We have also seen high numbers tuning in for our live-streaming of Mass and to the Sunday morning children's liturgy sessions CAFOD has been running online.

"How Great Thou Art is a really rousing hymn, and reminds us that we can put our trust in God, because God has made such an amazing world for us all to live in and take care of.

"As the impacts of coronavirus are increasingly felt around the world in developing countries – where communities have fewer resources to deal with the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns – by singing hymns and saying prayers we can stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are also facing these challenging times and share hope."

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