13 February 2010

A Hymn of Humble Access

In the Anglican traditional Liturgy, the Prayer of Humble Access has gone through various revisions (as well as outright substistution with a fine contemporary prayer: 'Most merciful Lord, your love compels us to come in. Our hands were unclean, our hearts were unprepared ...' -- a fine prayer that deserves use in the future formularies of the Anglican Ordinariates within the Roman Catholic Communion). This prayer of approach to the sacred mysteries is defining for the Anglican spirit as well as the Anglican patrimony.

Drawing inspiration from said Prayer of Humble Access, I decided to write a few hymn-texts to explore the themes of the prayer as well as other catholic particulars in Anglo-Catholic eucharistic theology. My intention was for this first hymn to be sung as the People came forward to kneel and receive the Sacrament. I believe within Roman Catholic use it could be sung as well by the assembly after all have received the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The text I post below became known as my Hymn of Humble Access although it is only the first of seven hymns inspired by that great prayer of priest and people. It has always been sung to 'ENGELBERG', but I encourage composers to consider it for a new tune. In publishing the text here, my hope is to share it with all Christians who would like to use it, and so I grant permission for Christian parishes or congregations to reproduce it without alteration and including my Copyright. May Christ bless the reading and singing of this hymn:

A Hymn of Humble Access

Lord, we do not presume to come to thee
As equals or as those of high degree,
But on our knees we cry and sing to thee.

Great is our Lord who heals the broken heart,
Who saves the weak and bids us do our part
To conquer evil and God's love impart.

Lord Jesus Christ, we know the time is near
For that great day when thou wilt soon appear.
By thy good Spirit help us persevere.

O help us grow in living faith and grace
Until we see thy Mercy face to face,
And with thy Saints in Glory take our place.

Words: Copyright © 1995 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Engelberg
Metre: 10 10 10 with Alleluia

+Laus Deo.