They'll Know We Are Christians


We have used the song They’ll Know We Are Christians as an Offertory Hymn.

Has your church used the hymn They'll Know We Are Christians?       



Yes our church has used this hymn, I really like it, it is infectious, just reading the title I will humm it for the evening.

Thank you for mentioning it you have lifted my spirit



It’s been a while, at least since we changes choir directors a while back, but I have heard it. I think the song says everything about what a Christian should be.


It has been a VERY, VERY long time since I’ve heard the song sung at Mass. Not a fan, myself, but that’s just a matter of taste.

  1. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
    We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
    And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

  1. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
    We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
    And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.

  2. We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
    We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
    And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

  3. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
    And all praise to Christ Jesus, his only Son,
    And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.


Once in a while. While I prefer more traditional hymns, this is definitely one of my favourites. So much that I often sing it while working. (I’m on a lawn-mowing tractor, so no one has to be subjected to my very poor singing voice! :o)


I just love this song and will often sing it while cleaning and house.

It’s just beautiful! :thumbsup:


I am a stickler for more traditional hymns myself; however, I don’t mind this song from time to time. I would only like to hear it at Mass once every so often. Longer than six months apart. :smiley:


Don’t know it, not sang in England/Ireland, personally I prefer more traditionally inspired Hymns, Latin ones especially, which we don’t get unless we attend a Tridentine Mass.
All done in Latin. Mass on EWTN is beautiful also its the Novus Ordo but in Latin, a lovely balance. Oh well. Whatever, we are privileged to get Mass with the shortage of Priests, if more families practised the faith and parents did not protest we might have more priests.

No point in moaning about no priests if we are not able to give a son to the Church if he wants.


Not in many many many years.
Very old song.


Most interesting to be sure, however, this thread was about that specific hymn.


We used to play it on guitar at Mass back in the 1970s. Haven’t heard it much at Mass since then, but I remember it well.


Dulcinea2721, You are welcome.



Not my favourite by a long shot.

Written by Peter Scholtes, before he left the priesthood, we read this in his obituary:

Peter wrote the hymn “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” while he was a parish priest at St. Brendan’s on the South Side of Chicago in the 1960s. At the time, he was leading a youth choir out of the church basement, and was looking for an appropriate song for a series of ecumenical, interracial events. When he couldn’t find such a song, he wrote the now-famous hymn in a single day. His experiences at St. Brendan’s, and in the Chicago Civil Rights movement, influenced him for the rest of his life.

It’s the very first English song I remember singing at Mass after Vatican II.

I used to joke that he’d obviously never attended parish council meetings.:wink:


Father Peter R. Scholtes wrote They’ll Know We Are Christians in 1968.


I love this song. The words are very powerful.

C’mon everyone, it would be really cold of someone to say that they “hate” a song that says, “They’ll know we are Christians by our LOVE!”


I haven’t heard this song since I was a kid. It used to be done a lot with our parish’s folk guitar group in the 1980s.


I think it’s perfect in the setting for which it was written. Not so great at Mass where it becomes just another ‘us’ song.



That’s true. I used to like singing it when hiking through the woods as a child. It was easy to memorize, had a catchy melody and it sort of felt like a folk song that would have been sung during a march for Civil Rights or something like that. But it never felt quite appropriate for liturgy… at least that was how I felt as a child. Since it doesn’t seem to be used much nowadays, I have no real opinion of it unless I hear it at mass again.


It is definitely a song written with guitar in mind

We used to sing a lot back in 1970s (probably the late 1960s too) both at Mass and outside of Mass. I can’t remember the last time I heard it but it was probably when traveling someplace where guitar was the primary instrument at Mass. Or it could have been at some prayer event or concert outside of Mass.

Of course now I hear it in my head each time I see this thread title.


When we were in parochial school, we told the Sister that we liked the verse that mentioned:

   And together we'll spread the news that God is in our land.

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