St Francis and blessing on 4.16.11

Celebration of Hope is my favorite time of the year at Willow.  We have so much (money, energy, volunteers, staff, etc), so let’s pour it out and use it for those who don’t have such resources.  What a privilege and joy!

We began this final weekend with “Hosanna” to celebrate Palm Sunday.  Midway through the song, Sharon read the full Palm Sunday passage (Matt 21:1-11) and then invited us to sing the final chorus with all the passion and faith of those who were there nearly 2000 years ago.  This celebration lead into the gospel rock funk explosion of “Let it Rise”.

We then turned our attention to the prayer of St Francis.  This sweeping, stunning prayer has been reorienting hearts for generations, and it continues to do so.  During the prayer, Shuree passionately sang the song “Bless” and gave melody to our collective commitment to join God in Redemption.  This musical/liturgical experience opened us into a muscular singing of the classic hymn “Take My Life and Let it Be”.  (Feel free to download here.)

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi / Bless
St Francis / Aaron Niequist

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

I want to bless – whoever I see next
I want to give – not just use and forget
I want to leave – more than thoughtless regret
Not gonna back away

I want to give – even when I feel poor
To let it go – when I want to keep score
I want to hear – who is always ignored
Not gonna run away

I’m only a part of the story
But wholly a part of the story
So I’ll take my part in the story
Get out of myself
Get over myself
Get lost in the story of somebody else

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I want to live – as You’ve made me to be
To be a gift – to the whole family
Your Kingdom come – into all You have dreamed
Not gonna slow it down

I want to lift – everyone that I meet
Knowing well – I need them to lift me
Unified – in our humanity
We’re gonna pour it out

I’m only a part of the story
But wholly a part of the story
So I’ll take my part in the story
Get out of myself
Get over myself
Get out of my fear
Get off of the shelf
Get lost in the story of somebody else

Posted by Aaron Niequist on 04.19.11 under Lead Worship, Weekend Experience.

One Response to “St Francis and blessing on 4.16.11”

  1. I love the “muscular” singing of Take My Life!

    Is it possible to hear “Bless?”

    Posted by Bethany on 12/13/09 April 19th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

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