The hymns the bells play....

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I live across the street from a Catholic Church. No, not the parish I belong to. That would be too easy, now wouldn't it?

Anyway, they have a set of electronic bells in the bell tower, and every hour from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., the bells play a hymn. It took some getting used to when we first moved in. They seemed so loud then. Now there are hours and hours that pass without me even really paying them much mind, which is kind of a shame.

But the selection of hymns, while traditional, is not exclusively "Catholic." By that I mean that there are quite a few hymns that I don't think many cradle Catholics would know many of the words to. The only reason I know them is that my grandparents were Methodist and Southern Baptist. So I wondered today at 11 a.m. if most of the people listening to the bells knew these words:

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.


Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?


Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.


O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.


Words & Music: Will L. Thomp­son, in Spark­ling Gems, Nos. 1 and 2, by J. Cal­vin Bush­ey (Chi­ca­go, Ill­i­nois: Will L. Thomp­son & Com­pa­ny, 1880)

Cyberhymnal gives us this lovely nugget about the song:

When evan­gel­ist Dwight Moo­dy was on his death­bed, he told Thomp­son:

"Will, I would ra­ther have writ­ten “Soft­ly and Ten­der­ly Je­sus is Call­ing” than an­y­thing I have been able to do in my whole life."

If you don't know the tune, go here and you can learn it and sing along. It was one of my grandmother's favorites.


I love that hymn! Of course, I inherited my taste for hymns from my father, who was born United Church Methodist, so there you go...

We could do a lot worse than to borrow some of the best hymns from other Christians, to repalce some of the dreck we sing now.

I learned that hymn in my current parish choir!

Thank you for the link to Cyber Hymns!! I've been wanting to find a number of the ones from my growing-up years, and so far they're all there.

OOOh, I love that hymn! And if you watch that movie "the trip to Bountiful", it ends with that hymn. When I saw it in the theatre, no one moved until it was over.... through the end of the film, through all the credits, until the dark came, and the lights came up, and THEN everyone moved. Powerful words!

Cradle Catholic checking in to say I know it! But only because of my long-time fanship of Amy Grant. It's on her "Legacy: Hymns of Faith" CD. It's a keeper! :)



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on August 26, 2005 11:20 PM.

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