A Joy for all the Earth

17/07/2017 12:00 pm

A Joy for all the World is the official hymn for World Meeting of Families 2018 and was composed by young Irish composer Ephrem Feeley. The hymn found its inspiration in the document Amoris Laetitia - the Joy of Love, written in 2016 by Pope Francis following the Synods on the Family held over the preceding two years.

Chapter 4 of Amoris Laetitia is a reflection on the famous Hymn to Love found in 1 Corinthians 13 and our composer felt that his piece should begin with this wonderful Pauline text, as he explains:

"To provide musical and textual symmetry, the introduction is repeated with these words as a coda, though with pared-back accompaniment to highlight their simplicity and elegance. The main focus of Amoris Laetitia is the domestic family and there are also theological parallels between this and God's family in the Church. Although the performing forces for this piece are substantial for regular parish situations, perhaps for special occasions, at least one trumpet (playing the uppermost line) could be used. The lyrical nature of the melody allows for this piece to be performed by smaller forces too, even a single voice and accompaniment, making it suitable for weddings. The piece also is suitable for general use, and could be used as a strong stately entrance or communion processional hymn."


A JOY FOR ALL THE EARTH - Composed by Ephrem Feeley

Love bears all things, endures all things

Love longs for all things good, love never ends

Love is patient, and love is kind.
Love is not resentful; it is not rude.
Love is not arrogant, nor boastful, nor jealous,
but love rejoices, rejoices in the truth


The joy, of love, a joy for all God’s family,
The joy of love transcending time and space.
Our Love for each other mirrors God the Father’s love.
The joy of love: a joy for all the earth.

Here in Gods family all find their home.
All can find salvation troubled souls find peace.
Here is found tenderness, compassion and justice
Here God reaches down to us and touches us with grace.


Love is our origin, our constant calling.
Love is our fulfilment, in God’s dwelling place.
Love is the mystery of Father, Son and Spirit,
Love is communion of blessed Trinity.


This is what God asks of us, to act with justice,
to love with tenderness, to walk humbly with God,
to give our lives in service to others.
The joy of the Gospel is the joyful love of Christ!


Love bears all things, endures all things
love longs for all things good, love never ends.

© World Meeting of Families 2018 Ltd. All rights reserved.

Recording of the World Meeting of Families 2018 Hymn;

  • COMPOSER: Ephrem Feeley
  • PRODUCER: Dr. Sharon Lyons
  • CONDUCTER: Damian Gallagher
  • CHILDREN’S CHOIR: Piccolo Lasso, Director Dr. Ite O’Donovan
  • SOLOISTS: Sharon Lyons, Derek Mahady
  • ORGAN: Professor Gerard Gillen
  • PIANO: Dr. Paul Mc Keever
  • VIOLIN: Denice Doyle
  • VIOLIN: Aoife Dowdall
  • VIOLA: Karen Dervan
  • CELLO: David Doyle
  • TRUMPET: Mark Adams
  • TRUMPET: Martin Smutney
  • Evelyn Cryan, Dominique Cunningham, Anne Davison,Audrey Harte, Fidelma Kelly, Sharon Lyons,John Magee, Derek Mahady, Karen O’Donovan,Simon Orrock, Michael Sherman, Gifford Whittle,Joseph Whittle, Rosemary Wilson.
  • STRING ARRANGEMENT: Damian Gallagher
  • SOUND RECORDING: Ben Rawlins
  • LOCATION: Blackrock College Chapel, Dublin