PASSION CHORALE 126.96.36.199 D (“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”)
Lord, hear the cries of children who struggle every day,
Caught up in failing systems that steal their hope away.
Some find they’re lost to violence, then lost in foster care.
They long for life’s abundance! Lord, hear their pleading prayer.
Lord, hear the cries of children who find they’re moved along
Through courts and plans and programs where many things go wrong.
Where doors are closed to justice, where children fear, in pain,
Where some are simply processed, Lord, hear their cries again.
Lord, hear the cries of children who long to laugh and dance,
Yet from their very naming, don’t seem to stand a chance.
When people all around them have egos, budgets, plans–
We pray you’ll hear and save them, O God who understands!
Lord, hear the cries of children who simply ask for bread
Yet find the world around them provides a stone instead.
When wars are fully-funded and schools are running bare,
When benefits are ended—Lord, hear your children’s prayer!
Lord, hear the cries of children—and hear the voices, too,
That seek to offer welcome, that seek a world that’s new,
That work to change the system, that sing sweet lullabies.
May we, with love and wisdom, respond to children’s cries.
Biblical Reference: Mark 10:13-16 and James 1:27
Tune: Hans Leo Hassler, 1601, Harm. Johann Sebastian Bach, 1729
Alternative Tune: LLANGLOFFAN Welsh melody from Hymnau a Thonau, by D. Evans, 1865 (“Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers”)
Text: Copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Hymn Note by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette: This hymn is written with gratitude for foster parents, social workers and others who do seek to do their best for abused and neglected children and youth. It is written as a prayer for the many children and youth who are failed by a broken system that too often ignores their cries and rights. Parts of this hymn, especially, are written as a prayer for one small boy who was our foster son for nineteenth months and no longer is in our care, but always in our hearts.