God, We Love This Congregation! (a free hymn)

HYMN TO JOY D (“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”)

God, we love this congregation!
On this day, we’re glad to see
friends and neighbors, gathered, praying,
as a church community.
Young and old, we join in worship—
some in-person, some online.
We are drawn by faith and friendship
to this blessed place and time.

In this year with all its trials,
there are things that we have missed.
Still, in Christ, you’ve walked beside us;
by your Spirit, we’ve been blessed.
Love’s our history, love’s our vision,
Love’s the work we’re called to do.
Bless us as our congregation
moves together, serving you.

Tune: Ludwig van Beethoven, 1824 (“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”)
Text: Copyright © 2021 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.

Editor’s note: By posting this hymn, the Presbyterian Outlook does not make any recommendations about the safety of in-person congregational singing during a pandemic. Some possibilities for using it could be to have it pre-recorded by a musician for use in worship, or for personal worship or meditation at home. 

Permission is given for free use of this hymn by local churches and ecumenical groups, including for streaming online in worship services.

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written over 400 hymns to well-known tunes, including several to counter racism, sexism and gun violence that have been sung by thousands of churches with feature stories about them in The Christian Century, The New Yorker, Sojourners, PBS-TV and NPR. Presbyterian Outlook has commissioned Carolyn to write many hymns. All of her hymn texts can be found on her website: