Just in time for Easter, popular hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new hymn specifically for a season in which the Church and its members are dealing with the coronavirus.
"This new hymn," Gillette writes, "is a prayer to be used in Easter 2020 worship services, while most churches are closed and people are remaining in their homes because of the pandemic. It can be used for online worship or in online written communications from a church to its members."
The prayer, when put to music, can be sung to the tune of "The Church's One Foundation." Gillette has given permission for churches to use the hymn for free during this unprecedented time.
The verses are below:
This Easter celebration is not like ones we've known.
We pray in isolation, we sing the hymns alone.
We're distant from our neighbors — from worship leaders, too.
No flowers grace the chancel to set a festive mood.
No gathered choirs are singing; no banners lead the way.
O God of love and promise, where's joy this Easter Day?
With sanctuaries empty, may homes become the place
we ponder resurrection and celebrate your grace.
Our joy won't come from worship that's in a crowded room
but from the news of women who saw the empty tomb.
Our joy comes from disciples who ran with haste to see —
who heard that Christ is risen, and then, by grace, believed.
In all the grief and suffering, may we remember well:
Christ suffered crucifixion and faced the powers of hell.
Each Easter bears the promise: Christ rose that glorious day!
Now nothing in creation can keep your love away.
We thank you that on Easter, your church is blessed to be
a scattered, faithful body that's doing ministry.
In homes and in the places of help and healing, too,
we live the Easter message by gladly serving you.
Tune: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1864 ("The Church's One Foundation") (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.