My Only Comfort

My only comfort in life and in death

Author: Caspar Olevianus (1563); Author: Zacharius Ursinus (1563)
Published in 1 hymnal

Audio files: MIDI

Author: Caspar Olevianus

(no biographical information available about Caspar Olevianus.) Go to person page >

Author: Zacharius Ursinus

German theologian Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: My only comfort in life and in death
Title: My Only Comfort
Author: Caspar Olevianus (1563)
Author: Zacharius Ursinus (1563)
Meter: Irregular
Language: English


Scripture References:
st. 1 = 1 Cor. 6: 19-20, Rom. 14:7-9
st. 2 = 1 Pet. 1:18-19, Heb. 2:14-15
st. 3 = Matt. 10:29-31
st. 4 = Rom. 8:28
st. 5 = 2 Cor. 1:21-22

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) is the "most ecumenical of the Reformed catechisms and confessions … and is the most widely used and most warmly praised catechism of the Reformation period" (Psalter Hymnal, p. 860).

The text of this prose hymn is Q&A 1 from Lord's Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism (thus the tune's title). Though the entire catechism is sometimes treated simply as a pedagogical document, the opening paragraphs in this Lord's Day clearly indicate that this confession was intended to be much more–it is a creed of comfort, hope, and encouragement. In a few sentences this text summarizes the essential components of the Christian faith and walk with the Lord. Many Christians have memorized this part of the catechism; perhaps this musical setting will aid in further memorization.

Liturgical Use
As a sung confession of faith (could be a substitute for one of the other sung creeds, see 518-520); with sermons on the Heidelberg Catechism in which this sung Lord's Day could be paired with any of the other spoken Lord's Days; for festive events–Old/New Year services, special seasons of prayer, Reformation celebrations; funerals.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



Emily R. Brink (PHH 158) composed the HEIDELBERG 1 for this text in Champaign, Illinois, in 1975 (the year that the new translation of the catechism was adopted by the Christian Reformed Church). Brink composed the tune, along with a setting for the final "Amen" answer in the Heidelberg Catechism, f…

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