Jun 3, 2015

I, the Lord Be Not Afraid of Eagles' Wings

Recently I was contemplating funeral music for a parishioner whose extended family is predominantly Roman Catholic. Mostly I was trying to think of hymns from the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 that the average parishioner at St. Mary's-by-the-Turnpike would know (and that I don't despise).  

As I crowd-sourced the question on Facebook -- which is the SUPER lazy person's way of doing research (as opposed to the REGULAR lazy person's way of doing research which is Google) -- it became apparent that there are only three songs sung at Roman Catholic funerals: "I the Lord of Sea and Sky," "Be Not Afraid," and "Eagles' Wings." (I'm not counting Ave Maria as a hymn, so lay off).

Anyhoo...as I subsequently got all three stuck in my head, I decided that it's basically the same song. Thus I wrote the chorus to the single song titled "I, the Lord Be Not Afraid of Eagles' Wings."

I, the Lord Be Not Afraid of Eagles' Wings **

Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you flapping in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your talons in my heart.

Be not afraid. 
Eagles are cuddly always. 
Come follow me, and 
I will give you nest.

And He will raise you up on eagles' wings
Bear you on the breath of sky 
Because I the Lord of sea and sky
But mostly the sky — because eagles.

** Sung to the tune of...oh, who am I kidding? No one's actually going to pick up the hymnal and sing it anyway.


Solange De Santis said...

Is this what's called a hymn mosh pit? Or smash-up? All three are boring anyway.

Solange De Santis said...

Is this what's called a hymn mosh pit? Or smash-up? All three are boring anyway.

Unknown said...

Hah! The most epic hymn ever! I'll add that to my final plans...

Meredith Gould said...

Didn't take more than a few years of singing these particular "hymns" during funerals for me to wish I could pry open the casket and crawl into it. Ok, that's a lie. More like a couple of months. Your mashup? Brilliant and soon to be shared with Roman Catholic buds, especially those in music ministry.

Anonymous said...

Be Not Afraid, choose-Amazing Grace, As I Kneel Before You (Ave Maria), On Eagle's Wings; I am the Bread of Life (I will raise you up...); How Great Thou Art; or, if veteran, vs 1,3 America the Beautiful. It's always the same. I hardly ever get asked for 'Here I Am, Lord.' I explain that it sounds somewhat strange at a funeral, since the person obviously doesn't have much choice, and how will the 'go, Lord.' That usually ends that one. Many times congregants and ministers just haven't heard the many appropriate songs for funerals. Perhaps a demo CD for selections would help.

C. Wingate said...

At least you haven't been subjected to what I understand is another popular "thing": relatives singing "You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings". Possibly the most toe-curling liturgical moment ever was when one of the kids from my son's boy choir was killed in a car accident: his father sang it. With a mic, of course.

C. Wingate said...

BTW< Our Lady of the Highways is a thing.

Fran said...

Be not wings, lest you dash your foot upon one more bad song... Oh this is rich! Meredith sent it to me and made my day!

Anonymous said...

A small, but important, point: these are not 'hymns' in any sense of the word. They are 'songs,' and only and forever songs; and pretty insipid and say-nothing songs, despite "Eagle's Wings" having been based on Psalm 91. Secondly, none of them should be at funerals when there are so many other wondrous true hymns from which to choose. Thirdly, FINALLY someone who shares my opinion about Ave Maria at Communion at funerals (and weddings, lest we forget). !! :-)