A hymn for Sexagesima

In the Epistle for this Sunday (2 Corinthians 11:19–31), St. Paul presents a catalogue of all of the suffering he has endured — and survived — for the sake of the Gospel.

One of the hymns frequently sung on this day affirms that those who are committed to “follow the Master” are defended by the Spirit and promised eternal life at the end of their pilgrimage:

No foes shall stay his might,
though he with giants fight

Thus promises the text of “He who would valiant be,” a hymn adapted from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and especially fitting as the pilgrimmage of Lent approaches.

Our Hymnal presents this hymn (#563) to the tune ST. DUNSTANS, but identifies — at the bottom of the page in fine print — another tune as an alternative. That tune is MONK’S GATE, based on an English folk song and used at #362 for the hymn “Master of eager youth.”

A page from another hymnal with this tune and the text to “He who would valiant be” is available here. Our choir has just recorded this hymn to this alternate tune, and presents it here to accompany the parish’s singing at home.