Scripture Verse

This is My body which is given for you. Luke 22:19


Jaroslav J. Vajda (1919–2008)

Words: Ja­ro­slav J. Vaj­da, in This Day, May 1968.

Music: Carl F. Schalk, 1969 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Carl F. Schalk (1929–)

Origin of the Hymn

The hymn text orig­in­at­ed while I was shav­ing one morn­ing (a time when I get a lot of orig­in­al id­eas). I was ed­it­or of This Day ma­ga­zine at the time.

Since my teen­age years I have been writ­ing and trans­lat­ing poe­try, so many po­et­ic phras­es run through my mind, some of them end­ing up on pa­per. Some­where in the back of my mind, dur­ing my pre­vi­ous eight­een years in the full time par­ish min­is­try, I was ac­cu­mu­lat­ing rea­sons and be­ne­fits in wor­ship.

I have felt that we oft­en get so lit­tle out of wor­ship be­cause we an­ti­ci­pate so lit­tle, and we sel­dom come with a buck­et large enough to catch all the show­er of grace that comes to us in that set­ting.

Suddenly the hymn be­gan to form in my mind as a list of awe­some and ex­cit­ing things that one should ex­pect in wor­ship, cul­min­at­ing in the Eu­cha­rist and bene­dic­tion. The in­troit or en­trance hymn re­sult­ed.

Subconsciously I was pro­duc­ing a hymn with­out rhyme or with­out worn cli­chés, de­pend­ing en­tire­ly on rhy­thm and re­pe­ti­tion to make it sing­able. The re­ver­sal of the Tri­ni­tar­ian or­der in the bene­dic­tion was made not on­ly to make the con­clu­sion me­mo­ra­ble, but to in­di­cate the or­der in which the Tri­ni­ty ap­proach­es us in wor­ship: The Spir­it brings us the Go­spel, by which God’s bless­ing is re­leased in our lives.

Jaroslav Vajda


Now the si­lence, now the peace,
Now the emp­ty hands up­lift­ed;
Now the kneel­ing, now the plea,
Now the Fa­ther’s arms in wel­come;
Now the hear­ing, now the power,
Now the ves­sel brimmed for pour­ing;
Now the bo­dy, now the blood,
Now the joy­ful ce­le­bra­tion;
Now the wed­ding, now the songs,
Now the heart for­giv­en, leap­ing;
Now the Spir­it’s vi­si­ta­tion,
Now the Son’s epi­pha­ny;
Now the Fa­ther’s bless­ing,
Now, now, now.