Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Monday, July 21, 2003

More Adventures in Hymnwriting

Hymns are soooooo much harder to write than songs, at least for me. Not only are you competing with half the writers in the history of Christendom and then Judaism before that. Oh, no! No, you're also doing this for God and trying to be theologically correct. You can't just post the drawing on the fridge; you've got to color within the lines, too!

No, none at all....

Beyond that, it's kinda stupid to write hymns since nobody is actually going to publish mine. (Not knowing how to write down music is sort of a handicap here, admittedly.) Also, it's less than likely that anyone would want to hear them on an filk album. (My "Vampire Hymn" might barely make it, though I get rumblings that some find it offensive on several fronts. I suppose I could write some insipid space or eco-cred thing; but honestly, we've all heard those filks before.) I'm seriously doubtful that I'll even be able to do my song for Sean's wedding, frankly.

But OTOH, I don't really care. It smacks of cowardice and ingratitude for a Christian songwriter not to attempt, at least, the odd bit of praise to the God she worships. I sing hymns at least once every seven days, so I must know something about them. Besides, when the impulse strikes me to write hymns, it'd be stupid to ignore the Muse entirely.

So, another vanilla hymn from me. The tune is reminiscent of an Irish slow air. (You could probably set it to one, actually.)

As we kneel, our simple offerings,
Our humble gifts of bread and wine
Become Your body and Your blood, O Lord
Truly human and divine.
This is a sign; this is a miracle.
This is no symbol; there You stand.
This is Your body, blessed and broken here,
That we dare hold here in our hands.

The God who made both vastness of the stars
And tiny quarks within them all;
Who made the laws that rule the universe
And knows each creature, great or small;
Is with us now, as in Jerusalem
On that shameful old Skull Hill.
This is the Body that was broken then;
This is the Blood the soldiers spilled.

O Lord of more love than our hearts can know,
More mercy far than we deserve,
Help us to know You in the bread we break --
This is no mere meal You serve!
This is Your gift; You give us all of You.
This is Your sacrifice, Your pain.
Open our eyes; You feed Your life to us.
Souls, not just bodies, this sustains.

The last line is somewhat lamish. Anybody got any better ideas for the last four lines?