Gather Christians

The author of this simple folk-style hymn about the Mass / Eucharist is unknown.

Ken Canedo's book, Keep the Fire Burning: the Folk Mass Revolution, describes the musical changes in the Catholic Church in America in the 1960s.   It quotes the lyrics of this song, and says that it was included in Happiness is a Song, an "illegal songbook that was wildly popular on the West Coat ... [with] liturgical lyrics to many secular [trendy folk and pop songs of the day]with "neither composer nor publisher credits".  No other references to the song have been found.

It is sung to the tune of "Michael Row the Boat Ashore".  This tune is an Afro-American spiritual that was first published in the 1860s, but may be older still.


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Lyrics

Gather Christians to hear his word, alleluia,
And eat the banquet of the Lord, alleluia.

In joyful song our voices raise, alleluia,
To God above we offer praise, alleluia.

As one body with Christ our head, alleluia,
The People of God will share one bread, alleluia.

Now with one voice we join to sing, alleluia,
In love and honour to our King, alleluia.

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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
Gather Christians to hear his word, alleluia,
And eat the banquet of the Lord, alleluia.

In joyful song our voices raise, alleluia,
To God above we offer praise, alleluia.

As one body with Christ our head, alleluia,
The People of God will share one bread, alleluia.

Now with one voice we join to sing, alleluia,
In love and honour to our King, alleluia.

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