Hymns for St Joseph the Worker (1 May)

A selection of  hymns and songs, based on the readings and themes for the memorial of St Joseph the Worker, as well as the stories and themes associated with his life.

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 that are still copyright are also included, where these are particularly relevant.

About St Joseph the Worker

Joseph has two feasts: today, and 19 March - St Joseph husband of Mary. He was Jewish, the son of Jacob and descended from King David, and worked as a carpenter. A man of deep faith, he was open to receiving messages from God in dreams, dedicated to doing God’s will, and compassionate toward his betrothed.

He is regarded as patron of the Universal Church, as well as of many causes including workers, fathers, and a happy death, due to the tradition that he died in Jesus and Mary's arms.


Genesis 1:26-2:3  -  The story of creation.
Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24 - Over all these things put on love ... And let the peace of Christ control your hearts ... Whatever you do, do from the heart, ... be slaves of the Lord Christ.

Psalm Ps 90: 2,3-4,12-13,14 and 16 - Lord, give success to the work of our hands - Before the mountains were begotten / You turn man back to dust / Teach us to number our days aright, / Fill us at daybreak with your kindness

Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58  - Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue - They were astonished and said ... Is he not the carpenter's son? .... "A prophet is not without honour except in his native place and in his own house."


Compassion.   Serving the poor.   Justice and social concern:   the dignity of human work and its creative role in the development of the human person.  Preferential option for the poor, and analysis of the causes of injustice and poverty.  Human work as a prolongation of the work of the creator, a service to their fellow men, and their personal contribution to the fulfilment of the divine plan.

Free-use hymns

St Joseph God has Chosen You

Te Joseph Celebrent

Because this feast was only instituted in 1955, there are few hymns which are copyright free as yet.  However some hymns for Labour Day may be appropriate.

Hymns that are or may still be copyright

And They'll Know we are Christians - Schottes

Come Now and Praise the Humble Saint - Williams

Look Down To Us St. Joseph - Gannon

Lord of all Hopefulness - Struther

St Joseph Great Protector - Alstott (verse 3)

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