I was asked to write a hymn, to the tune ‘Kingsfold’, on the theme of ‘Christ the eternal priest’, for a friend’s first mass. Here it is! (I cheated slightly in that the last four lines are from another hymn I wrote earlier – if I can think of another ending I’ll replace them one day!)
O Christ, our Shepherd, brother, friend,
O Prophet, Priest and King,
Our Lord, Way, our Truth, our Life,
It is for you we sing:
Accept this sacrifice of praise
from voice and heart and soul,
For only in your Love, dear Lord,
can we be truly whole.
“A priest for ever you shall be
Enthroned in heav’n above.”
Yet still we know on earth below
The blessings of your love.
You did not cling to heav’nly bliss
but chose to share our pain,
Your life and death and rising still
draws earth to heav’n again.
One sacrifice, made once for all
on Calvary’s blessèd tree,
You stooped to lift up all who fall,
were bound to set us free.
And still through you we make our prayers
and know that we are heard,
For you have opened heaven’s gate,
O loving, living Word.
Make us your holy people, Lord,
in this and every place,
that we, through word and sacrament
may know your saving grace.
You call us here as servants, guests,
as sisters, brothers, friends:
to gather and be richly blessed.
with life that never ends.