Often, Often, Often

I was an “energizer” for the 2012 Celebration of the Illinois Conference of the UCC.  (That is to say, I was a workshop presenter.)  My theme for the workshop was the connection between surprise and hospitality—and the consequent importance of surprise in any church service that seeks to be welcoming to strangers.  As part of the workshop, I taught a new hymn that I wrote for the occasion: “Often, Often, Often”.  It’s inspired by (and uses a line from) a traditional Celtic poem about hospitality:

I saw a stranger in the evening:
I put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place:
And in the sacred name of the Triune
He blessed myself and my house,
My cattle and my dear ones.
And the lark said in her song
Often, often, often
Goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise.
Often, often, often
Goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise.

The hymn is available here.  The pdf prints as two letter-size pages, but the music is formatted so that it will fit on two faces of a folded legal sheet (as in a church bulletin).  Please feel free to copy this, as is, for non-commercial use.

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One Response to Often, Often, Often

  1. Great work on this hymn! Keep on posting!

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