Last night, friend and colleague Peggy Clarke told me this practice is “a source of insight.” Which is funny to me this morning, as I have absolutely nothing interesting to say about today’s hymn. No insight. No brilliant analysis. Not even a good joke… dang.
Anyway, this hymn. It’s a decent Brian Wren lyric, set to a tune commissioned for STLT from composer Alan Hovhaness. It’s in a tricky 3+4/4 rhythm that probably flows if I had accompaniment.
And the truth is, while I have attended many child dedications, I have never heard this sung or played, so I wonder if its trickiness is what puts people off, or if it’s something else? Anyway, here are the lyrics:
Wonder of wonders, life is beginning,
fragile as blossom, strong as the earth.
Shaped in a person, love has new meaning,
parents and people sing at their birth.
Now with rejoicing, make celebration;
joy full of promise, laughter through tears,
naming and blessing, bring dedication,
humble in purpose over the years.
Sorry I have nothing more…except, wait, if you want a different setting to Wren’s lyrics (including the third verse, which goes like this – “Lord of creation, Dying and living / Father and Mother, Partner and Friend / Lover of children, Lift all our loving / Into your kingdom, World without end”) check out this recording by David Haas.
Update: The brilliant Michael Tino offered this brilliant suggestion: you could also sing this to Morning Has Broken (tune: Bunessan). As he rightly notes, it “seems a fitting tune.”
This photo was taken at a simply lovely child dedication held during Professional Days (just prior to General Assembly) in Providence, RI, 2014. Yay, babies!
You haven’t heard Fr. Mike from St Patrick Catholic Church in Hubbard, OH sing it at a baby’s baptism. Contact me for details.