We Break This Bread

Christopher L. Webber, my unwitting collaborator

At this summer’s Hymn Society meeting in St. Louis, I was approached by a publisher about composing some tunes to go with a new collection of hymn texts by Christopher L. Webber. I can never resist an opportunity to compose new music, so I got right to work.

Of the numerous texts I could have chosen, I gravitated toward, “We Break This Bread.” I love the way Webber connects the breaking of bread at communion to our human brokenness. What I don’t love is that almost every line elides into the next–and at different places in each verse. No melody could accommodate the text perfectly (or allow people to sing each phrase in one breath!) but I feel like I struck a good balance that holds up well to the shifts in each verse.

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