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Built on the rock the church doth stand

Built on the rock the church doth stand. Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig* (1783-1872), translated by Carl Døving* (1867-1937). First published in Grundtvig’s Sangvärk til den Danske Kirke (1837), and later revised and abbreviated to the normal length of seven 7-line stanzas. The first line was ‘Kirken den er et gammelt Hus’ (‘The church which is a strong house’). It is based on Matthew 16: 18, ‘upon this rock I will build my church’. The hymn goes on to locate the church in the hearts and minds of believers: ‘Vi er Guds Hus og Kirke nu,/ Bygget af levende Stene’ (‘We are God’s house and church now, built of living stones’, from 1 Corinthians 3: 16 and 1 Peter 2: 4 – ‘ a living stone,...

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