Hymns for Father's Day

Dad and child - over hymn suggestions icon
A selection of hymns and songs for Father's Day.

Most are free-to-use (ie public domain or copyright-free) so the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing. Many such hymns are old/traditional - but where possible a variety of styles / genres are included.

A small selection of hymns which may still be copyright is included, if these are particularly appropriate.

About Father’s Day

Father's Day honours fathers and celebrates fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. In Catholic Europe, it was traditionally observed in Europe on the feast of the feast of St Joseph Husband of Mary (March 19th) and this was tradition spread to Latin America

In the USA, in July 1908 a local church held a memorial tribute for 362 men who died in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, West Virginia the previous December. A little later, Sonora Smart Dodd, from Spokane, Washington, who was brought-up by her widowed father, started a campaign for local churches and government services to set aside a day to honour fathers. A first statewide Father’s Day was observed on July 19, 1910, and over time this date moved to the third Sunday in June and became a national event. American influence, and the desire to make Father's Day a secular event, has seen this tradition adopted in a number of other countries, and today approximately 2/3 of the countries which mark Father's day do so on this date. In other countries, it is celebrated on various days often in March or May.

It complements days honouring other family members, such as Mother's Day, Siblings Day and Grandparents Day.


About the hymn suggestions

There are a great many hymns which honour God the Father, and some of these are appropriate for honouring and giving thanks for human fathers as well - this is a fine distinction though, and one which may be argued either way in many cases.

There are also some hymns which speak about or give thanks for human fathers more directly.

Lastly, some people mark this day by using music which they consider to be manly, either in topic (eg Onward Christian Soldiers / Battle Hymn of the Republic) or tune (eg in Dorian mode).  This is perhaps the most difficult option:   music that one person thinks is "manly" may simply be regarded as patriotic by others

A range of such suggestions are given below - review them carefully to make sure they suit your purpose, and will be acceptable in your church / school / etc.



Suggested free-use hymns

A Child of the King - Peck Buell / Bunnell Sumner

All the Way my Saviour Leads Me - Fanny Crosby

Be Thou My Vision, Irish hymn, Byrne / Hull (esp 2nd verse)

Children of the Heavenly Father - Sandell Berg

Day by Day - Sandell Berg

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind - John Greenleaf Whittier

Father God Thou Art the Source of Life  (Hymnal.net - tune plays opening)

Faith of Our Fathers - Faber

Great is Thy Faithfulness - Chisholm

God of our Fathers - Roberts

Guide My Feet

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (esp verse 3)


This is My Father’s World -  Babcock

Take Thou My Hand, O Father - Brueckner / Silcher



Suggested hymns which may still be copyright

Father we Thy Loving Children - Adams   (set to ODE TO JOY)

Fathers - Ballentyne and Jensen (words)

Father's Day Hymn (Our Father by Whose Name) - Tucker   (words)

How Deep the Father's Love for Us - Townsend

My Father Was / Is - Hammond

Our Father we have Wandered - Nichols

When Jesus Called you Father - Gilette  (words)

You Formed us in Your Image Lord - Gilette (words)




Resources for church-music selection



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