Saturday, 22 May 2021

Hymn for Returning to the Church Building

 I wrote this hymn in response to the Jubilate call for new hymn words in response to the pandemic. It uses a tune I've wanted to use for years - the chorus of 'Do you hear the people sing' from the musical Les Miserables! This is of course a copyrighted tune so I can't reproduce the music here, but it is widely available in 'songs from the shows' type music books - or can simply be sung from memory unaccompanied.

The interior of St Dunstan's church set up with social distancing

 It is particularly written for entering a church again that has been closed for the time of pandemic, but I have tried to also make it of general use for gathering for worship at any time when there has been a crisis, stress or trouble, whether in the specific church community or more generally. 

We will come into this space

Bringing our weariness and pain

Bringing our wariness and fears

That life may never be the same;

We will gather in this place

Willing our hearts to open wide

Willing our words and actions here to bring hope outside.


We will come into this space

Knowing that we will never see

All that our memories say it was

All that we dream that it should be;

We will gather in God’s grace

Willing to let go of our fears

Willing to be what’s needed now and what’s needed here.


We are weary of fake news

Weary of inequality

Weary of struggling to choose

To live against hostility;

We are wary of God’s call

Wary of what we’re asking for

Wary of all the times our trust’s been abused before.


We will go from here renewed

Strengthened by spirit, bread and song,

Strengthened by welcome, silence, word

And by the knowledge we belong;

We will go from here with you

Willing to walk your humble way

Willing to choose love’s liberation afresh each day.

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