Words: , in This Day, May 1968:

The hymn text orig­in­at­ed while I was shav­ing one morn­ing (a time when I get a lot of orig­in­al ideas). I was ed­it­or of This Day mag­a­zine at the time. Since my teen­age years I have been writ­ing and trans­lat­ing po­e­try, so ma­ny po­e­tic phras­es run through my mind, some of them end­ing up on pa­per. Some­where in the back of my mind, dur­ing my pre­vi­ous eight­een years in the full-time par­ish min­is­try, I was ac­cum­u­lat­ing rea­sons and ben­e­fits in wor­ship. I have felt that we oft­en get so lit­tle out of wor­ship be­cause we an­ti­ci­pate so lit­tle, and we sel­dom come with a buck­et large enough to catch all the show­er of grace that comes to us in that set­ting. Sud­den­ly the hymn be­gan to form in my mind as a list of awe­some and ex­ci­ting things that one should ex­pect in wor­ship, cul­min­at­ing in the Eu­cha­rist and ben­e­dic­tion. The in­troit or en­trance hymn re­sult­ed.

Subconsciously I was pro­duc­ing a hymn with­out rhyme or with­out worn cli­chés, de­pend­ing en­tir­ely on rhy­thm and re­pe­ti­tion to make it sing­a­ble. The re­vers­al of the Trin­i­tar­i­an or­der in the ben­e­dict­ion was made not on­ly to make the con­clu­sion mem­or­a­ble, but to in­di­cate the or­der in which the Trin­i­ty ap­proach­es us in wor­ship: The Spir­it brings us the Gos­pel, by which God’s bless­ing is re­leased in our lives.

Music: , 1969.

Now the silence, now the peace,
Now the empty hands uplifted;
Now the kneeling, now the plea,
Now the Father’s arms in welcome;
Now the hearing, now the power,
Now the vessel brimmed for pouring;
Now the body, now the blood,
Now the joyful celebration;
Now the wedding, now the songs,
Now the heart forgiven, leaping;
Now the Spirit’s visitation,
Now the Son’s epiphany;
Now the Father’s blessing,
Now, now, now.