On Eagle's Wings  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


"On Eagle's Wings" is a devotional song composed by Michael Joncas. Its words are based on Psalm 91 and Isaiah 40:31. Written in 1975-1976, for the wake and funeral of a friend and classmate's (Douglas Hall) father, it was then recorded in 1979, with Douglas Hall as producer. The song was then published by North American Liturgy Resources and was later purchased by New Dawn Music, a subsidiary of Oregon Catholic Press. It quickly proved to be quite popular as a contemplative song at Catholic Masses as well as at Protestant services.

It is now sung in churches of many denominations including Pentecostal churches and was performed at many of the funerals of victims of September 11. It is often performed either at the beginning or the ending of a Roman Catholic Funeral Mass. It has been performed at many papal Masses which were broadcast internationally. It was also selected as part of the 2007 funeral Mass for Luciano Pavarotti in Modena, Italy, which was also broadcast internationally.

Fr. Joncas has stated that his preference for the title would be "On Eagle's Wings," indicating that the wings belong to a single eagle which is metaphorically related to God, but he said he could make an argument for "On Eagles' Wings," indicating wings that belong to many eagles, since there would be many wings needed to lift up the multiple people in covenant with God.


You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
Who abide in His shadow for life,
Say to the Lord, "My Refuge,
My Rock in Whom I trust."
And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you,
And famine will bring you no fear;
Under His Wings your refuge,
His faithfulness your shield


You need not fear the terror of the night,
Nor the arrow that flies by day,
Though thousands fall about you,
Near you it shall not come.


For to His angels He's given a command,
To guard you in all of your ways,
Upon their hands they will bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.


And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

Scriptural references

Do not forget Deuteronomy 32:11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.

Or Deuteronomy 33.12 ... Let the Beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long and the one the Lord loves rest between His shoulders.