Commemorated on 30 November
A hymn to sing along with…
(part of a set of hymns about the Twelve Apostles)
Andrew the Apostle was the brother of Simon Peter. They were both fishermen. Andrew was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, a region where Greek language and culture were known. The name “Andrew” is of Greek origin and no Hebrew or Aramaic name has been recorded for him. it is thought that he preached along the Black Sea and as far east as Novgorod, so became patron saint of Ukraine, Romania and Russia.
He is said to have been martyred by crucifixion on an X-shaped cross at Patras in Achaea in AD 60. Legend has it that his relics were brought to the site of the modern city of St Andrews in Scotland. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland’s conversion to Christianity by Andrew, “the first to be an Apostle”; he had by then been considered to be Scotland’s patron saint for several centuries. The Saltire (national flag of Scotland) is a white X-shaped cross on a blue background.
The words were written by Irish-born Cecil Frances Alexander née Humphreys (1818-1895), wife of Revd William Alexander, who later became Archbishop of Armagh. She wrote many well-known hymns. A number of the hymns she wrote for children are still popular today, including Once in royal David’s city, There is a green hill far away and All things bright and beautiful.
The tune St Andrew is by Edward Henry Thorne (1834-1916). He was appointed organist of Henley Parish Church at the age of 19 and was organist of Chichester Cathedral from 1863-1870. A number of his hymns were included in Hymns Ancient and Modern, but this is the only one in common use today.
Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea,
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me;”
As of old, Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home, and toil, and kindred,
Leaving all for His dear sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store;
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”
In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“That we love Him more than these.”
Jesus calls us: by Thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.