Monday, February 28, 2011

HYMN: Lord, Teach Me So to Count My Days

The dark night of hymn-lessness is at an end. I know y'all have been waiting breathlessly for my next offering. Well, it's more likely that I'm probably the only one that's really been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. In November it seemed like the hymns were coming out like water from an open spigot. And then December came, and it seemed like the spigot was not only shut off, but welded to the off position. Then again, for my first Christmas in the parish since 2004, it was probably for the best that I focus my attention on parish matters.

Of course, Lent is coming up--my first since 2005--so I have another area for focus. I already have the first draft of my sermon series written, so there's a less pressure on my for this Lent than I've ever had before. Of course, with a wedding this weekend and another in two weeks, it's not like I'm going to be living on easy street. And again, this is my first Lent in the parish in six years, and I'd like for it to go well.

But in this rest period between Advent/Christmas and Lent, I had a little time to write. I officiated at a funeral a few weeks back, and it brought to the forefront an idea I'd had about Ash Wednesday and funerals and Lent. Using Psalm 90 and the words spoken during the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday as my base, I cobbled together this humble effort. Actually, this is my second attempt to write this. The first attempt was in the meter of 86 86 76, but it just wasn't coming out the way I wanted--though I actually had an original tune in mind to write for the text. This flowed better. Let me know what you think.

(EDITED ON 2/4/13, 3/21/13)

Lord, Teach Me So to Count My Days

1. Lord, teach me so to count my days,
However long they last.
In Your just wrath they fly away.
In sorrow they have passed.
Lord, You are holy, righteous, just,
And I, a sin-filled urn.
Remember, man, that you are dust.
To dust you shall return.

2. Lo, I am dust, a child of man,
Old Adam's faithless son.
You bid me turn to dust again.
At birth is death begun.
My flesh by nature joys in lust.
Your holy law I spurn.
Remember, man, that you are dust.
To dust you shall return.

3. Yet You have been my dwelling place.
You make Your mercy known.
You satisfy me with Your grace
And for my sins atone.
Your Passion, Christ, is all my trust.
You will not let me burn.
Remember, man, that you are dust.
To dust you shall return.

4. Lord, teach me so to count my days.
Bring wisdom to my heart.
Forgive my wayward heart that strays.
Your steadfast love impart.
In You alone I put my trust
For grace I cannot earn,
So when my body turns to dust
From dust I shall return.

(c) 2011, Alan Kornacki, Jr.
CMD (86 86 86 86)


The Mostly Rev. Theodore E. Cook, Sr. said...

That first verse is like a brick wall with static cling.

Once again, may I use this here Alan?

Anonymous said...

Pretty much tells it like it is, doesn't it? Well written, in my opinion.

The only part I wonder about-- Stanza 3: "I merit...I burn". This seems out of place. I had the impression of the progression of sin to mercy with this stanza being about mercy and grace. Then those two lines read like they are an afterthought that fits more with stanzas one and two.

"I a sin-filled urn".... what a stark picture! Lord, have pity, indeed!

Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr. said...

I did a little editing if you'd like to check it again.