Benediction (The Last Word)

How does Sunday morning’s worship relate to Monday morning’s work? That’s the question on BiFrost/Cardiphonia’s mind, one that was the impetus for a song contest. And if it’s on the mind of song contest judges, then it’s on my mind, as well.

The song’s genesis began with some phrases scratched on the back of a church bulletin. The phrase that stuck was “from the postlude to the prelude.” (That’s also the title of a book about church music administration by Randall Bradley.) From there I started to flesh out the kinds of things that could, indeed should, be understood as part of a worshipful life. Some of these seem clear: a playground feels like part of God’s world. But what about a prison?

My first draft received a two thumbs down evaluation from my son, Theo. He felt that the melody was too bouncy and trite and that the lyrics were just a big list of things that rhymed. Ouch. So I did a complete rewrite. I’m more pleased with this version. It’s in 3/4 meter, rather than 4/4 with a backbeat. That gives it a more stately feel. And the melodic contours have a more classic Celtic feel now. The lyrics were trimmed down substantially and I broke up the “from the this to the that” pattern that became tedious in the first draft. The big win was the new phrase, “the smell of resurrection.” Man I like that line!

1. From the postlude to the prelude,
Glow of moon to hope of dawn.
May our days sing benediction
And every minute pulse God’s love.

From the garden to the city,
From the studio to the stove,
From the playground to the prison:
Every inch of earth resounds.

In every thing our God will have the last word,
Echoing through the centuries: benediction.
Even death will yield to resurrection,
And the curse will kneel to blessing

2. From the midnight rain on concrete
To the meadow jeweled in dew,
Comes the smell of resurrection,
And the hope of all made new. REFRAIN

3. From the prayer room to the protest,
From the swing to seat of power,
From the birth chair to the deathbed,
O may all our labors bow. REFRAIN

This will end well. This will all end well. All will be well.
This will end well. This will all end well. God will have the last word. REFRAIN

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3 Responses to Benediction (The Last Word)

  1. Joan Huyser-Honig says:

    I love this song. May it be true for you and your family.

  2. Greg Scheer says:

    Another contest lost… Here’s the announcement from BiFrost Arts about the contest winners: We are pleased to announce the winners of our songwriting contest on faith and vocation. Craig Harris has won first place with his song “We Labor Onto Glory” (https://www.dropbox.com/s/979p7xtnmbwjpj8/Labor%20Onto%20Glory.mp3?dl=0) and Brittney Dagneau has won second place with her song “We Labor Not In Vain.” (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7666362/Songwriting%20Contest/MP3s/Labour%20Not%20in%20Vain.mp3) In addition to having his song appear on our forthcoming album, Craig will also receive a $750 cash prize, with Brittney receiving a $250 prize. We are so thankful for the hundreds of entries to this contest and it has truly been a blessing to listen and spend time with all your creative work. Thank you!

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