On the Journey to Emmaus

This hymn about recognising Jesus and welcoming strangers was written by American Lutheran musician and composer Marty Haugen (b 1950).   It is based on Luke 24:13-35.

With irregular meter, it is set to a traditional Gaelic tune, COLUMCILLE, which has been used for other hymns including Spirit Seeking Light and Beauty.   The vocal range of this tune is challenging, and it is usually set in F#m to facilitate singers.

A cut down version of the sheet music, with just the tune (which is in the public domain) and a very few words, is provided below. If your have a copyright licence that covers reproducing the words, you may be able to add them to this.  Full sheet music is available from GIA Publications (though not for download).

Pronunciation of Emmaus

The location of "Emmaus" in Jerusalem is not known (see more about this in Wikipedia). Perhaps because of this there are some disagreements about how to pronounce the word. In some countries it is phonetically pronounced  "eh-MAY-uhs" while others (as seen in one of the videos below) "eh-MOSS" is sometimes used.   If the song is used with a mixed group, it may be useful for the leader to decide on the approach to be used.




Downloads



Examples

Original recording:



Church choir with organ:



School choir with piano:



Professional singers with light guitar backing:


Lyrics

The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available on this website. The song has four verses, and no chorus.  A rough outline is:
1 On the journey to Emmaus with our hearts cold as stone...

2 And our hearts burned within us as we talked on the way...

3 And that evening at the table as he blessed and broke bread ...

4 On the journey to Emmaus, in our stories and feast,

ABC Notation

About ABC notation

X:1
T:On the Journey to Emmaus
C:Gaelic traditional
Z:abc-transcription www.GodSongs.net
M:3/4
L:1/4
K:F#m
F/2G/2|"F#m"A A "C#m7"G/2E/2| "F#m"F F F/2G/2| A A "E"B |"C#7"c2 c/2B/2
|"F#m"c F F |"C#m7"E c, c,|"A"E c, "G#m" B,| "C#"c,2 "C#m7"c,/2F/2 |
"F#m"F F F/2G/2|A A F/2G/2 | A A "E/G#"B | "A"c2 c/2B/2
c e c/2B/2 |"Dmaj7"c/2A/2 F "C#m7"F/2A/2 |G "Bm7"F "C#m7"F| "F#m"F2 |]

See more ...


KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
On the journey to Emmaus with our hearts cold as stone-
the One who would save us had left us alone.
Then a stranger walks with us and, to our surprise,
he opens our stories and he opens our eyes.

And our hearts burned within us as we talked on the way,
how all that was promised was ours on that day.
So we begged him, 'Stay with us and grant us your word.'
We welcomed the stranger and we welcomed the Lord.

And that evening at the table as he blessed and broke bread,
we saw it was Jesus aris'n from the dead;
Though he vanished before us we knew he was near -
the life in our dying and the hope in our fear.

On the journey to Emmaus, in our stories and feast,
with Jesus we claim that the greatest is least:
and his words burn within us - let none be ignored -
who welcomes the stranger shall welcome the Lord.

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