“The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want” first appeared in print in the Scottish Psalter of 1650. This Psalter was assembled by the Westminster Assembly, which also gave us the Westminster Confession and the Book of Common Prayer. In it, portions from various sources were combined to create the beautiful hymn we know today. Though it was well-loved in Scotland, “The Lord’s My Shepherd” did not enjoy popularity outside the Church of Scotland for nearly 300 years. It finally appeared in the Methodist Hymnal of 1876 and later the Congregational Hymnal of 1916. But it wasn’t included in an Anglican hymnbook until 1965. The hymn version of Psalm 23 remains faithful to David’s psalm. Its popularity in England grew in part because of its use during the 1947 marriage ceremony between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. Since that time, it’s become a well-known hymn, often requested for weddings and funerals today.
The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want. He makes me down to lie In pastures green; He leadeth me The quiet waters by. My soul He doth restore again; And me to walk doth make Within the paths of righteousness, Even for His own Name’s sake. Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale, Yet will I fear none ill; For Thou art with me; and Thy rod And staff me comfort still. My table Thou hast furnished In presence of my foes; My head Thou dost with oil anoint, And my cup overflows. Goodness and mercy all my life Shall surely follow me; And in God’s house forevermore My dwelling place shall be.