We opened the service today with the great and wonderful hymn “The Church’s one foundation.”
The last verse, as it reads in the Episcopal hymnal (since many versions of this poetry exist), is:
Yet she on earth hath union
With the God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with thee.
This verse always makes me cry. I recall singing it in 1998 on one of the Sundays of Easter. My mother had just died the previous month, and that last verse caught me unaware, then grabbed hold of me so much I had to leave the service for a few minutes.
Today, I knew what to expect, so I just took off my glasses after the closing chord, wiped my eyes, and went on with the service.
‘Tis a good thing to love, and to lose, and to long.
Here’s a thrilling rendition, with altered words —