“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.

2.

Chris is made the sure foundation

“Chris is made the sure foundation”

3.

“Clam rising through change and through storm”

4.

Do you reject “Stan and all his works”?

5.

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

6.

“In his hands he gently bares us”

7.

“Penis Angelicus”

8. “What a fiend we have in Jesus”

9.

angus die

“Angus die”

10.

glaze

“Sheep May Softly Glaze”

11.

hanging

“Jesus you are hanging me”

12.
July

“My hope to follow July”

13.

peach

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

14.

penguin

“His first avowed intent to be a penguin”

15.

porpoise

“Communion hums”

16.

unicorn

“Thy unicorn grace bestoweth”

17.

farts

“Set our farts on fire”

18.

sin

“The Lord Christ has given us a sin”

19.

vicious

“I will make you vicious old men”

20.

sin2

“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. Not quite a hymn but related: I once played for a Remembrance Service with a procession of lots of British Legion standards, during which they sang Praise my Soul. Anticipating that this would be too short, the vicar had helpfully written, ‘the organist will improve between verses 3&4’

  2. IMMORAL, IMPOSSIBLE, GOD ONLY KNOWS
    (Tune: St. Denio)

    1. Immoral, impossible, God only knows
    how tenors and basses, sopranos, altos
    at service on Sunday are rarely the same
    as those who on Thursday to choir practice came.

    2. Unready, unable to sight-read the notes,
    nor counting, nor blending, they tighten their throats.
    the descant so piercing is soaring above,
    the melody only a mother could love.

    3. They have a director, but no-one knows why,
    no-one in the choir deigns to turn him an eye.
    It’s clear by his waving, he wants them to look,
    but each of them stands with his nose in the book.

    4. Despite the offences, the music rings out.
    The folks in the pews are enraptured, no doubt.
    Their faces are blissful, their thoughts are so deep,
    but it is no wonder, for they are asleep.

  3. During the first Gulf War, I accidently put “Tanks be to God” at the end of the prayers.

    • 5 years ago, I was listening to BBC Radio 3 Breakfast on a digital TV, and the caption said that they had just broadcast “Miserere Nostril” by Tallis. This appears to be what one might expect if the job was being done by an uneducated person with a spell-checker. It would not have been so bad if it was composed by John Blow!

  4. My wife grew up convinced that the Easter hymn went
    “Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty spider on his nose”

    Slightly related, we did once get the classic Christmas typo promising “mice pies” in the notices.

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  6. Michael Saward’s hymn “Christ triumphant” ought to be sung with clear, precise diction. Otherwise, one particular couplet sounds like:

    Death is through the cross defeated,
    sin is justified.

  7. My son still remembers my prayer on Palm sunday when I said “immoral” instead of “Immortal.”
    At an Ash Wednesday service, one of the choir asked another “What’s but dust?”

  8. When I was serving a church in Memphis, TN, the secretary typed this version of the Prayers of the People Form IV one Sunday:
    For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the nerdy.
    I felt comforted.

  9. “When with the ever-circling years / Comes round the age of golf”. We’ve been using the sheets with this typo on every Christmas for years…

  10. I have four –
    1.I recently projected “Take My Silver and My Golf”.
    2.My mum sent me a Typo –
    “Jesus Good Above All Other
    Gentle Child of Gentle Moth”
    3.How about in “King of Kings, Majesty” – The line that says “Gentle Saviour, Closet Friend”
    4. And the time someone left the letter i out of the word “Arise”!

  11. My favorite is the church announcements: “This morning’s sermon- Jesus walks on water, this evenings sermon – Looking for Jesus”. And “This evening’s sermon- What is hell like? Come to church early and listen to the choir practice” . “Weight watchers meeting will be held at 3pm in the church basement- use the double doors on the left:”

  12. “Because we believe in the corporateness of the church, we’ll repeat the worship-song ‘Beautiful One, I love you’ but in the plural, as ‘Beautiful One, we love you’, etc.”

    All went well until the pluralising of the line ‘My soul, my soul must sing.’

  13. Presbyterian Church News letter listing session members and their positions –
    ‘Elsie Frank, chair of the shit-ins’.

  14. I did
    “Jesus Chris is waiting…”

    I’ve also seen
    “We know the age of the church thanks to the plagues on the wall.”

  15. Just spotted on website about rosary prayers :

    “… As it was in the beginning, I snow and will be forever. Amen.”

    Seems oddly fitting given this week’s weather!

  16. Just spotted on a website suggesting rosary prayers:

    “… As it was in the beginning, I snow and will be forever. Amen.”

  17. Our church has on more than one occasion listed the Angus Dei in the bulletin. (Which I guess should be sung as “Beef of God, who takes away . . . “)

  18. In a recent wedding order of service (presumably spell-checked)… “Bring me my bow of burning gold, bring me my carrot of desire”.
    And in the “Hymns Old & New” of “I cannot tell” is the lovely line “But this I know, that he was born of Mary, when Bethlehem’s manager was his only home”

  19. In the late 80’s the hugely popular ‘You laid aside Your majesty’ was being sung with alarming regularity. We were at the forefront of cutting technology with an OHP where the words had been printed onto acetate (printed, not written, ohh the professionalism).

    Unfortunately the lyrics has got a bit mixed up and in a brave reimagining of the theology of the church we sang, ‘When You rose and died again”

    Which was nice.

  20. In the late 80’s the hugely popular ‘You laid aside Your majesty’ was being sung with alarming regularity. We were at the forefront of cutting technology with an OHP where the words had been printed onto acetate (printed, not written, ohh the professionalism).

    Unfortunately the lyrics has got a bit mixed up and in a brave reimagining of the theology of the church we sang, ‘When You rose and died again”

    Which was nice.

  21. I remember that when we were writing the Methodist Worship Book one of the members of the Committee, who sadly died last year, tolkd the story of having nearly said:
    ‘Bless this house and the Pratts who live in it’.

  22. I once went to a service where they used the ASB Litany for intercesssions. Instead of ‘Endue the High Court of Parliament and all ministers of the Crown with wisdom’ it read, ‘Endure the High Court of Parliament …’. Seems fitting somehow.

  23. As a teenager I was asked to read a passage from Revelation, but did not have time to read it beforehand. As I read it a misprint stumped me, a letter “t” was completely missing and the verse read, “one woe is passed and behold wo woes more hereafter”. I called that my doggy bible!

  24. There is a Christmas carol which refers to “countless angels”. Unfortunately the ‘o’ had been omitted. The Canon Residentiary had great pleasure in reminding that if nothing else, it was at least theologically correct.

  25. Was at a famous London church where they had a typo on the hymn sheet.The line in “onward Christian Soldiers “Thou may’st smile at all thy foes” became thou may smite at all thy foes”
    (which is perhaps a more usual reaction…)

  26. In the last verse of ‘From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable’, we once had projected:
    Now he’s sanding in the place of honour
    …which is apt, considering Jesus’ carpentry background.

  27. It is late on Saturday night in deepest Salford in the UK. The vicar (that was me) is printing the service sheet for tomorrow’s service. Only after printing all 100 sheets does he see the typo:
    HYMN: Our God resigns

    You would think the vicar would learn to check the originals carefully but sadly at a later date, also late on Saturday night, he is printing the Harvest Festival eucharist and is faintly pleased with himself to have put in the words from the Didache at the breaking of the bread ‘We have gathered many grains to make this bread’. Only after printing all the copies does he see ‘We have gathered many grans’.

    And even now that vicar holds an allegedly responsible job training others, the typos continue. At the Norwich diocese clergy conference in 2013 I was responsible for the worship. One day at communion we were listed as singing ‘Eat this bead’, which became a standing joke with the musicians.

  28. Just two Sundays ago, we were celebrating Martin Luther King Sunday at Plymouth Congregational Church in Syracuse, and the pastor chose three of MLK’s favorite hymns for the service. In the sermon, he told the rather gripping story of his father, who had lost his right hand to farm machinery as a teen. The sermon told how he overcame this adversity. After the sermon, the next hymn was Precious Lord, Take My Hand. (I’m still laughing!)

  29. Many years ago my little boy told me that ‘God loves demons’. He knew that because he often sang a song in church that asked, ‘Bless every demon’. It took a while until the penny dropped. ‘Blessed Redeemer’. Not a typo but a rather glorious bit of confusion.

  30. When I was a child, I went to a Catholic school for a couple of years. I can’t remember the whole prayer, but there was one, for the holy souls, that ended in “. . . and may they rest in peace. Amen.” I heard it as “. . . rest in peas.”! Consequently, I imagined Purgatory as a sort of dungeon, full of dead bodies covered in piles of peas!

  31. Missing ‘i’ from ‘arise’ led to the service sheet at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh stating that the anthem was William Byrd’s ‘O Lord, Arse’.

  32. The secretary at my childhood church regularly tranposed the “e” and the “l” in “angels,” so we usually sang of “angles from the realms of glory” during Christmas season. Or, as a friend commented, “Ah! Celestial mechancics!”

  33. we were reading the song words on the overhead projector when I suddenly noticed the Title of the song was —– ” WHAT A FIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS “

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