Sunday, February 28, 2021

295. Prayer for the Pastor

As a complement to the previous hymn, here's one about the pastoral vocation from the point of view of a parishioner, a family in the church or the congregation as a whole. I wrote it with the tune FAITH ALLISON, by Alan Kornacki, Jr. (2019), in mind; as I write this, I'm seeking his permission to publish it in Edifying Hymns with this text. I have a certain attachment to the tune, seeing as I wrote a harmonized setting of it for his book of original hymns, which I reviewed here. It's been a pleasure having it in my head again, and I hope this hymn will be useful and edifying.

Good Shepherd, bless the servant sent
To guide and guard Your flock.
Let him rejoice and not lament,
Though straitened be his walk;
In bounds and bonds to be content,
Relying on the Rock:
Your word that bids the proud repent,
The meek ask, seek and knock.

Bless him, as in rich pastures he
Your little lambs will feed,
And where refreshing streams may be,
Let him in safety lead;
The lost to seek, and not to flee
When wolves attack with greed;
To bind the torn, and patiently
Attend our every need.

Teach us Your voice to recognize
In him, that we may share
His burden no less than the prize,
And be not unaware
That we are precious in his eyes,
His constant theme of prayer;
Nor let the least of us despise
The wisdom he lays bare.

Should he or we do any wrong,
Lord, swift forgiveness send.
When clashing notes deform our song,
Give us the will to mend.
Uphold him with a spirit strong;
Your word of peace defend,
That whether life be short or long,
We'll share a blessed end.

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