God, let your gathering note be sounded,
help us find voice and stir our hearts,
that here by this great cloud surrounded
our souls may test and tune their parts:
sounds of each gender, generation,
now blending in the holy air
may praise you in the congregation,
and to the earth your name declare.
With age-old words and tunes persistent
we link ourselves to history,
to songs remote in deserts distant,
Moses and Miriam by the sea;
to David's harp, the prophets' yearning,
to Christmas angels in the gloom,
glad tunes for prodigal's returning,
a hallel in the upper room.
And through our worship now is coursing
new song for you, both word and tone,
as joy breaks forth, faith reinforcing:
like cool springs bursting out of stone;
or flowing with earth's tides and currents
the music of some far-off place,
new-flavored, still gives us assurance
of God's refreshing love and grace.
Riches of old that we inherit,
new treasures forged in our own time,
the psalms and hymns, songs of the Spirit,
the simple, subtle, and sublime,
held in the heart, sometimes forgotten,
or new-found on this morning's air:
these are all sounds we hold in common,
in witness of the faith we share.
These sounds of faith are calling, leading,
they summon us through prayer and praise,
on past this hour of song and meeting,
on to the work of coming days.
So, God, now tune as we enter,
and be among us as we sing,
your gathering not shall be the center
whence all our work and music spring.