Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
While in seminary I did an intern year at Christ Church, the Anglican Church in Vienna, Austria. Fourth of July was on a Sunday that year and I got to plan the music for the service, which was from the BCP. One of the hymns was this one, sung to the tune Finlandia. I first heard it at an ANZAC day service where the ambassadors from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey placed wreaths at the foot of the altar. It was appropriate for an international community and an important reminder for all of us here in the United States on this very special holiday.

This is my song, Oh 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 sacred 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 cloverleaf and pine. 
But other lands have sunlight too and clover, 
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine. 
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations, 
A song of peace for their land and for mine. 

May truth and freedom come to every nation; 
May peace abound where strife has raged so long;
That each may seek to love and build together, 
A world united, righting every wrong; 
A world united in its love for freedom, 
Proclaiming peace together in one song. 

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 shall serve him, 
And hearts united learn to live as one. 
O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations; 
Myself I give thee, let thy will be done.