Hymns for the feast of Julian of Norwich ( 8 or 13 May)

This is a selection of hymns either directly about Julian of Norwich, or based on the themes from her life and writings.  They can be used for her feast day, which is on 8 or 13 May, depending on which calendar you are following.

The list is divided into two parts:   free-use materials that can be freely used with no concerns about copyright (because they are in the public domain), and hymns that may still be copyright depending on the laws in your country.

About Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich (1342-1416), was an English woman who had a series of visions, which she referred to as Showings, as a result of serious illness and a a near death experience that she suffered at the time of the Black Death, when she was 30.

Some time after this, she adopted a form of religious life known in medieval times as an anchoress. This was person who lived a solitary life, but one which is anchored in the world and not fully cut off from it - in this case, in a cell on the side of St Julian’s Church, in Norwich. She spend 15-20 years living this way, reflecting and praying about her experiences.

In this time, she wrote ‘Revelations of Divine Love’, which is the first English-language book known to be written by a woman. Some ideas which she presented, especially the idea of God as Mother, and women imaging the Divine, could have caused shock and disagreements - but she wrote so carefully and in context that her work was accepted by the church. Themes from her work include the call to live entirely as a response to God’s eternal and all embracing love, as expressed to us in the Passion of Christ, safety in God, and a belief that all will be well.

Revelations of Divine Love is a scholarly work although in English so it is very accessible - the full text with commentary is available here.


First:   Hebrews 10:19–24:  ...hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering ... And let us consider how to provoke one another to love ....

Psalm  27:  One thing have I asked of the Lord; one thing I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life;

 Gospel:  John 4:23–26... the hour is coming, ... when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, .. Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

Free-use hymns

Love Divine all Loves Excelling

Motherhood Sublime Eternal

Hymns which may still be copyright

All Shall be Well - Bridge (ref)

All Shall be Well (In my love, you have your beginning) - Kirchner (SATB piece - ref)

All Will be Well (Our Lord said that all would be well) - Warner (ref)

God is Love  (God is was that made us) - reflects the truths Julian saw in the hazel nut - O'Connor

Holy as the Day Is Spent - Newcomer (video - lyrics)

Hymn at the Entry (Gladly we Gather) - Sr Florence (ref)

I am He for Whom you Long - Shamansky   (ref)

Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth - Janzen

You are Near - Schutte (reflects Julian's statement “Before God made us, he loved us")

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