BY Amanda Connelly | July 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


New hymns written ahead of St Thérèse’s relics arriving in Scotland

When the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux arrive in Scotland next month they will be welcomed with prayer and song, as two new hymns have been composed for the occasion.

The first of the two hymns is a joint effort between the Carmelite nuns of the Dysart Carmelite Convent, set to the tune of Highland Cathedral, while the second was written by a parishioner at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Carfin, Gina Woods, and is set to the tune of Loch Lomond.

“We knew that the relics were coming and we liked the idea of having a Scottish melody for her Scottish visit,” one of the members of the Carmelite community told the SCO.

“Sister, who is quite gifted at that sort of thing, wrote words that were suitable for St Thérèse.

“We’ve already heard a primary school choir singing it. It’s been distributed to schools as well I think.

“So it’s to give a Scottish flavour to her Scottish visit.”



Another of the Sisters spoke of her own personal devotion to St Thérèse and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus since her early childhood.

She stressed the great good that St Thérèse can do and her ability to help people in different ways.

“It started when Fr Jamie McMorrin visited us to talk about the visit of the relics,” she said.

“He was talking about having her piped in to the cathedral to the tune of Highland Cathedral, and then he said ‘actually, words can be written to that tune.’”


New words

This caused the Sister to set new words to the traditional tune.

“I love the music, but trying to fit words is difficult,” she said. “I tried to say all the things I would want to say to St Thérèse but I found only very simple words coming out—words that would be suitable for children.

“In the end I realised that that must’ve been what St Thérèse wanted, and to my amazement it’s really caught on and people like it.”


Hymn booklets

Fr James Grant, the national coordinator for the visit of St Thérèse of Lisieux’s relics to Scotland and the general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said he was printing booklets with lyrics for the hymns.

Fr Grant noted that the use of Highland Cathedral and Loch Lomond gives a Scottish feel to the hymns.

“The lyrics speak of the trip to Scotland: ‘welcome Thérèse to Scotland’s soil today’ is how one of them begins. It puts a Scottish stamp on the visit of the relics.”


Loch Lomond

Mrs Woods, who penned the text to the hymn with the tune of Loch Lomond, described her wish to ‘encapsulate’ something of St Therese’s message.

“My mother had a devotion to St Thérèse and I remember, from an early age, an image of St Thérèse in our home,” Mrs Woods said.

“Her childlike trust, awe and pure love of God is a total inspiration and one which begs to be echoed in the hearts of our young people,” she said.

“It was important for me to encapsulate something of her message and marking the visit of her relics gives us all the opportunity to realise that her sainthood is a blessing and a gift never to be forgotten and always to be remembered.”

Both hymns have since been recorded by the choir of St John Paul II Primary School in Viewpark (pictured above).’

The choir’s performance can be viewed at: or

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