About Franciscan hymns

Thomas of Celano and other contemporaries tell us that St Francis of Assisi was often moved to joy and sang in French. On one occasion he picked up a stick and played air violin with it. He composed the first poem written in Italian (The Canticle of the Creatures).

I am not the first writer of hymns to be  inspired by St Francis.

Please enjoy the hymns I am collecting on this site. I have written nearly all of them, and they either are about St Francis, or express Franciscan themes. You are free to reflect on their words, or sing them in worship with appropriate attribution.

Please let me know if you need help finding the best tunes to match these words.

Ted Witham tssf

November 2009

10 comments on “About Franciscan hymns

  1. Would you happen to know where I could get the words of Troubedour of the great King?



    • tedwitham says:

      Dear Imelda
      I am not sure where you can get the words, perhaps on the insert with the CD version?

      Sorry I can’t help you.

      Peace and joy


  2. loverofcreation says:

    Thanks very much, don’t worry about it. Peace and all good.

  3. loverofcreation says:

    Not to worry, I’ll have a look on Google. Thank you for your reply. Peace and joy


  4. loverofcreation says:

    I just wanted to say, your hymns to St Francis and St Clare are really beautiful. May the Lord bless you always.

    • tedwitham says:

      Many thanks, Imelda, I appreciate your comment. And don’t forget that you can use the hymns in a worship setting if you would like (please make sure that they are attributed to me).

      Peace and all good


      • loverofcreation says:

        Yes, of course I will. I have added them to my facebook page, I hope you don’t mind.

        Peace and all good


  5. Jim says:

    Hello, I’m directing music at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Linden, NJ this fall. I’ve been looking far and wide for hymns to use on Elizabeth’s feast day in November. May I use your beautiful words for “St. Elizabeth of Hungary?” It would fit perfectly to the hymn tune TRURO, and we would give grateful attribution to you as author of the lyrics on any program or publicity (it’s still being planned).
    God bless-

    • Ted Witham says:

      Hello Jim,

      I would be honoured for you to use the words for my hymn for St Elizabeth of Hungary. It certainly will go well with the tune “Truro”. I imagine you will omit verse 5 as those words are particular to us in Western Australia. I hope the liturgy goes well.

      Blessings to you,

      Ted WItham

      • Jim says:

        Wonderful! Thanks, Mr. Witham. This is the church’s Facebook page.

        We plan to do the song twice – once at the 4PM (Eastern Standard time) Vigil Mass on Saturday, Nov. 14 (a celebratory Mass to be said by Bishop Elias Lorenzo) and again at the 12 Noon (EST) Mass on the feast day itself, Tuesday Nov. 17. Both will be livestreamed on the Facebook page, and will then remain on their timeline for later viewing. I hope you can tune in to see your words help us celebrate St. Elizabeth! Thanks again.
        -Jim Keefe

        PS – you’re correct that we won’t sing verse 4. I was tempted to “personalize it” to:

        Benedictine brothers in the East
        honoured her name in New Jersey

        but it just doesn’t flow very well. 🙂

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