Prayer Song: O Christ the Same

This week’s Prayer Song to Work By became one of my favorites at St. Olaf. A colleague of mine played it in studio class one evening and I made a note to myself: That will be sung at my wedding someday. And sure enough, it was the closing hymn right after we said our vows.

You’ll find it in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship book to Carl Schalk’s beautiful tune Red Hill Road. It’s sometimes sung to Londenderry Air as well. The text, by contemporary English poet Timothy Dudley-Smith, is copyright 1984 by Hope Publishing Company and with this little plug for his beautiful work I hope he’ll forgive my posting it here. Visit his page. All his poetry is outstanding.

O Christ the same, through all our story’s pages
Our loves and hopes, our failures and our fears,
Eternal Lord, the king of all the ages,
Unchanging still, amid the passing years.
O living Word, the source of all creation,
Who spread the skies and set the stars ablaze,
O Christ the same, who wrought man’s whole salvation,
We bring our thanks for all our yesterdays.

O Christ the same, the friend of sinners, sharing
Our inmost thoughts, the secrets none can hide,
Still as of old upon your body bearing
The marks of love, in triumph glorified.
O Son of Man, who stooped for us from heaven,
O Prince of life, in all your saving power,
O Christ the same, to whom our hearts are given,
We bring our thanks for this the present hour.

O Christ the same, secure within whose keeping
Our lives and loves, our days and years remain,
Our work and rest, our waking and our sleeping,
Our calm and storm, our pleasure and our pain;
O Lord of love, for all our joys and sorrows,
For all our hopes, when earth shall fade and flee,
O Christ the same, beyond our brief tomorrows,
We bring our thanks for all that is to be.

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