From time to time, I try and write a new hymn. Some are better than others. I’m not a musician so I write them to an existing hymn tune. For the last few years I’ve tried to write a new hymn as the verse on my official Christmas card. I send several hundred cards as a bishop so they go far and wide.
Here is this year’s offering. It’s loosely based on Psalm 96: O Sing to the LORD a new song.
I’ve pondered Psalm 96 for most of this year. It was the text for my final sermon in Sheffield Cathedral and also the text for my sermon at four Welcome Eucharists across the Diocese of Oxford.
The psalm is a call to all the earth to hope, to joy and to worship: to sing a new song which has the power to change the world.
That is a message the world needs to hear especially at the end of 2016.
The words are written for the well known tune, Jerusalem, by Hubert Parry. Permission is given to reproduce the words in any context. Let me know how it goes.
Whatever is happening the world over, the Church must never cease its praise and worship. Sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing songs of hope, new hymns of joy.
Sing to the Lord in all the earth.
Let lays of love all fear destroy,
The Church’s anthems of new birth.
For Christ is born in Bethlehem.
The kingdom comes, the Word takes flesh.
And so we sing of love come down
Of mercy, peace and tenderness.
This song is life to all who mourn,
To rich and poor, for young and old.
Our song breaks locks and bars and stone
The breath of life to hearts grown cold.
Let heav’n be glad, let earth rejoice
The Lord has come and justice reigns.
Sing to the Lord, earth, with one voice,
Jesus the name above all names.
Steven Croft, 2016
After Psalm 96
Suggested tune: Jerusalem (Hubert Parry)