Thursday, 18 August 2011

9/11 Anniversary Hymn

9/11 Anniversary Hymns

With the approaching 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center people are enquiring about a hymn that I wrote at the time that was included in a commemorative collection by the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada one year on. It is posted below this newer hymn.
Dean McIntyre asked for a new hymn specific to this anniversary. It can be used freely with acknowledgement.

Great God your love has held our lives
across the years down to this day.
Your constant presence held us fast:
remain with us we plead and pray.
We watched the towers, we saw the flame,
the clouds of dust swept down the street;
we heard the voices that we loved
and cried for those we’d no more meet.

As time moves on some memories fade,
the grief we shared lies in the past,
for others pain is just as sharp,
this present hurt will always last.
A human act has swept away
our partners, parents, children, friends,
some people we had never known,
the memory lives and never ends.

Beyond this day we try to live:
a sinew of each life survives,
but where is God in hurt and hate?
The questions stay to haunt our lives.
Help us to build a better world
not fuelled by vengeance, fed by greed;
a world in which we all can live,
what ever colour, race or creed.
© Andrew Pratt 18/8/2011
Tune: JERUSALEM (Parry)
Commissioned by Dean McIntyre (United Methodist Church (USA)) for the 10th Anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Centre

This following hymn, written within 24 hours of the destruction of the twin towers, can be used with acknowledgement of copyright on your CCL return or by permission of the copyright holder – carol@stainer.co.uk

1     God's on our side, and God will grieve
at carnage, loss and death;
for Jesus wept, and we will weep,
with every grieving breath.

2     God's on their side, the enemy,
the ones we would despise;
God quench our vengeance, still our pride,
don't let our anger rise.

3     God's on each side, God loves us all,
and through our hurt and pain
God shares the anguish, nail scarred hands
reach out-love must remain.

4     God show us how to reconcile
each difference and fear,
that we might learn to love again
and dry the other's tear.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
© 2001 Stainer and Bell Ltd

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