Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 4th - Part Two

The homily this morning at the Abbey paid due respect to the signers of the Declaration of Independence, most of whom paid a very dear price for that act of moral principle and political courage. It was the recessional hymn at the end of Mass, however, composed by Lloyd Stone and arranged by Jean Sibelius, that I found most moving. It is one of my favorite hymns and one that the monks often sing on July 4th.

Here are the lyrics:
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cover-leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh, hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms,
Thy kingdom come; on earth thy will be done.
Let Christ be lifted up till all men serve him.
And hearts united learn to live as one.
Oh, hear by prayer, thou God of all the nations,
Myself I give thee; let thy will be done.
This is a lovely reminder of something that Howard Thurman told me many years ago, namely, you can't be at home everywhere until you're at home somewhere.

Happy 4th.

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