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!