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Now the Silence

I was introduced to this modern hymn when I was introduced to what was then the "new" Lutheran Book of Worship, one heck of a nice source for hymns of several styles. This one caught my attention for several reasons. It's sort of a hymn for all seasons. It actually describes a liturgical service pretty well, but it also is a picture of the liturgical year. Lent is a sort of silent season, meant to get us to think about the incredible sacrifice. From the silence of it all to the Peace that Jesus bestowed on the disciples in the upper room, through the spilled blood and then the joyful celebration of His resurrection, to forgiveness, Pentecost, and in it all, Father's blessing. And all of that without a complete sentence!

I could not find a good recording on line. It is a rocking sort of melody and is very meditative when done at an appropriate tempo. It's really hard to sing when the tempo is pushed, however. -_- Cyberhymnal has the score as well as a recording, but unless you know the tune (designated as "Irregular Meter" for good reason), their rendition is pretty confusing.

[edit: this youtube version would be better at a slower tempo]

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,