Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hymn: Lord, In Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer

I've been reading the book Christ Have Mercy: How to Put Your Faith in Action, which was written by Pastor Matthew C. Harrison. Pastor Harrison is the Executive Director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care and a candidate for President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In his excellent book (which I highly recommend, by the way), he writes:
The Litany, yet another ancient text, is an extended Kyrie. The Litany varied in length during early centuries of the Church. Today we may find the Litany to be unbearably long and tedious.

. . . We are oblivious to the insecure existence of a medieval Church that found prayer a deep refuge. The people of the Middle Ages were beset by plague, crusade, and the probability of a miserable and short life. Fat and lazy in body and soul, we find it hard to cope with the briefest prayers and shortest liturgies. We pray that we enjoy times that do not call for a long Kyrie. Perhaps it is time to pray that the Lord would lengthen our Kyrie. Perhaps it is the chaotic nihilism of school shootings, crazed religious suicide bombers, and assassins by which the Lord shall again lengthen our Kyrie and strengthen our faith. (18)

Inspired by Pastor Harrison and mindful of my own need for a longer Kyrie, I took up my pen and began to work on a hymn version of the Litany. This is, perhaps, a bit ambitious, and it might even be a bit presumptuous for a fledgling hymn writer, but I hope you'll forgive the presumption and give your feedback to this humble effort.

Lord, In Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer

1. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer
And grant us Your salvation.
Deliver us from evil's snare
In time of tribulation.
During all calamity,
Our shelter and defender be.
Spare us, good Lord, and help us.
Lord, have mercy.

2. By myst'ry of Your holy birth,
Your holy incarnation;
By your obedience to the Law,
Your wilderness temptation;
By Your Passion and Your death,
Descending into hell's dark depth,
And by Your resurrection:
Christ, have mercy.

3. Preserve Your holy Church, we pray,
From schism and from errors.
Bring truth to all who fall away,
And trample Satan's terrors.
Call men to Your harvest field.
Sustain them in the Word they wield.
We beg You, Lord, to hear us.
Lord, have mercy.

4. Raise those who fall beneath their load
And strengthen those still standing.
Comfort the weak, Almighty God,
When life seems too demanding.
Grant our nation Your own peace.
Bid all our strife and discord cease,
And give us Your protection.
Lord, have mercy.

5. Direct the leaders of the world,
That Your Word only guide them.
Bless soldiers under flag unfurled:
With wisdom deep supply them.
Help us bless our enemy.
Forgive him, Lord, whoe'er he be,
And turn him to repentance.
Christ, have mercy.

6. Grant pregnant women happiness.
Defend all unborn children.
Bless widows and the fatherless.
In all need, Lord, fulfill them.
Guard the trav'ler on his way,
And bless all earthly fruits, we pray.
Lord, hear our supplication.
Lord, have mercy.

7. Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God,
We beg you, Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God,
We beg you, Lord, have mercy.
Lamb of God, the only Son:
Grant peace, we pray, to everyone.
O Christ, in mercy, hear us.
Lord, have mercy. Amen.

(c) Alan Kornacki, Jr.
87 87 78 74
Tune: Christ Lag in Todesbanden (LSB 458) OR
Robert Mayes has written a lovely tune for this text, which you can see here.


Dale Critchley said...

Very good, Al. I may rip this off, with your permission, of course.

revalkorn said...

Rip off with my blessing, Dale.

Elephantschild said...


Faith said...