“His first avowed intent to be a penguin” and 19 other hilarious hymn typos

It all started with Bosco Peters sharing this very funny hymn typo on his Facebook page:

1. hymn typo from @liturgy

“In tits fullness undiminished”

Then I asked our fans on twitter and Facebook for their best examples of hymn typos. Here is a selection of the funniest.


Chris is made the sure foundation

“Chris is made the sure foundation”


“Clam rising through change and through storm”


Do you reject “Stan and all his works”?


“They burned my body and they thought I’d gone”


“In his hands he gently bares us”


“Penis Angelicus”

8. “What a fiend we have in Jesus”


angus die

“Angus die”



“Sheep May Softly Glaze”



“Jesus you are hanging me”


“My hope to follow July”



“your peach in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day”



“His first avowed intent to be a penguin”



“Communion hums”



“Thy unicorn grace bestoweth”



“Set our farts on fire”



“The Lord Christ has given us a sin”



“I will make you vicious old men”



“Sin to the Lord with all of your heart”


75 thoughts on ““His first avowed intent to be a penguin” and 19 other hilarious hymn typos

  1. At Bethesda Church in Saratoga Springs, New York, the Schola Cantorum sings The Great Litany every Advent and Lent. And each time we are secretly tickled by the misprint that appears in our printed copies: “…Finally, to beat down Saran under our feet;”.

  2. As a youngster, my son came home from Sunday School singing “Lasange, lasagne, lasagne in the Highest”

  3. Autocorrect is responsible for at least one line in ‘God rest ye merry, gentlemen…’ the third line read ‘To save us all from Santa’s power…’!

    • … Yes, there was the famous dyslexic agnostic insomniac who lay awake at nights wondering whether there was a Dog; and in the end he sold his soul to Santa.

  4. Then there is the little girl, whose slightly asymmetrical teddy bear was called Gladly – as in “gladly my cross-eyed bear”

    • you don’t need typos to have embarrassing hymns. One thinks of the couple who wanted
      the hymn “Come o thou traveller unknown” at their wedding forgetting that one verse says
      “with thee all night I mean to stay and wrestle to the break of day !”

  5. At communion one of my fellow chior members was to sing a solo verse for “Let us break bread together”. But she got the words mixed up and sang into the microphone:
    “When I fall on my face / with my knees to the rising sun”

    Yeah, we didn’t let her live that one down.

    • Like the singer doing ‘Down by the Salley Gardens’ (which @ 2 vv is hardly a ‘catalogue song’) & came out with: ‘Down by the Salley Gardens my love and I did meet, and on my waiting shoulder she ..’ (oops!)

  6. Sorry – this is not about a hymn but came in an obituary in a national paper for
    a recently departed socialist politician. They left a T out of the word immortal so the passage ran:
    “Aneurin Bevan will be remembered as one of the great immorals of the |Labour party”

    • … Meanwhile in the Northants Echo ~25yrs ago I remember noticing in the small-ads a 2nd-hand ‘Pornuptia’ wedding outfit … presumably with gaps in unconventional places?

  7. I’m guilty of mistyping a word in the collect on the front of a service sheet, suggesting that Christ breaks the chins of despair. Our poor curate was taking the service – but he coped very well.

  8. We once had a service sheet that advised us to “sign up on the sheep at the back of the church”

  9. Both in the same wedding program: “Lord, *here* our prayer,” rather than “Lord, hear our prayer,” and the infamous *Cannon* in D by *Pachabel*.

  10. This morning’s typo: the following Taize song lyrics on the screen:

    Eat this bread, drink this cup
    Come to him and never be hungry.
    Eat this bread, drink this cup,
    Rust in him and you will not thirst.

    (Sadly, the usual choice of after-service refreshment was not supplemented by Irn-Bru.)

    • The late-lamented John Eddison used to make rather a good sermon ‘aside’ about the rich nabob who had ‘Cwm Rhondda’ at his funeral, with a minor misprint in the last verse: ‘ … land my safe on Canaan’s side’!
      (When my not-yet-parents-to-be were married, they had the traditional Jubilate as a canticle, which came back from the printers’ 3 days prior to the service, exhorting congregants & others to ‘serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a son ‘; the forms-of-service were rushed back to have the errant ‘g’ added by hand in 100-odd copies. I was born almost exactly a year later & grew up to be a serious letterpress hobbyist and lifelong active church / community musician!)

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