Sunday Eucharist at “the House”

At our weeklong meetings of the House of Bishops we normally try to honor the Lord’s Day, the Christian “sabbath” by a day of rest. We celebrated the Eucharist together at 10 a.m., had brunch, and have the afternoon off before gathering this evening for an informal “fireside chat” with our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Katharine presided at the Eucharist and we heard a fine sermon on the Parable of the Prodigal Son by one of our chaplains, the Canon Precentor of Washington’s National Cathedral. I was most moved, however, by the words of the Offertory hymn, sung responsorially with the volunteer “bishops’ choir” made up of bishops who enjoy singing together at these meetings.

The refrain is based on the words of Archbishop Helder Camara, retired as the Roman Catholic prelate of Olinda and Recife, which was a favorite of our former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, “My door, my heart, must be open to everyone, absolutely everyone.” And from a line of an ancient Celtic Rune of Hospitality, “Often goes Love in the stranger’s guise.” So we sang:

“Open, open, open my heart.  I must be open to everyone. Often goes Love in the stanger’s guise. Open, open my heart.”

And the verses were no less powerful:

“You are the peace of all things calm; You are the place to hide from harm; You are the light that shines in dark; You are the heart’s eternal spark.

You are the caller, You are the poor; You are the stanger at my door; You are the wanderer, The unfed; You are the homeless with no bed.

You are the one driven insane; You are the child crying in pain; You are the other who comes to me; If I open to another you’re born in me.

You are the door that’s open wide; You are the guest who waits inside; You are the light, the truth, the way; You are my Savior this very day.”  

Open, open, open our hearts; we must be open to everyone. Often goes Love in the stranger’s guise; open, open our hearts!


4 Responses to “Sunday Eucharist at “the House””

  1. pastorofdisaster Says:

    How wonderful. I feel included just by reading those liturgical texts.

  2. Ann Says:

    Where can we find the music for this piece? I posted it on HOBD and many have been asking. Maybe one of the bishops could post it?

  3. ecubishop Says:

    Gosh, well, the music is identified as:

    “David Davidson, 2005. Composed for the consecration of The Rt. Rev. Bavi Edna Rivera as Bishop Suffragan of Olympia.”

    Maybe the Diocese of Olympia could provide more…

  4. Ann Says:

    I discovered that the composer is Dent Davidson of St. Thomas Parish, Medina, WA.

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