Christ be our Light

This is a hymn of petition for Christ's enlightenment.  It was written by English Roman Catholic composer, church-musician and social-justice activist (ref) Bernadette Farrell (b 1957).

It was originally published in the USA in 1993 by OCP, and has since been included in many Catholic publications on both sides of the Atlantic.   It has also crossed denomination boundaries: It is included in hymn books in the Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican and Lutheran traditions, and is used in worship services by many different churches.

The hymn is included in many in-print hymn books, and sheet music can also be purchased from OCP.   A version with separate verses for the Easter Vigil has also been published "This is the night of new beginnings ... " - this is also available.

With meter 98.96 with refrain, the unnamed tune, also by Farrell, is sometimes also referred by as CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT. It has a 3/4 time signature, and in the key of G the first few notes are B, EF G F E D E B,.


hands holdling a lighted candle - invoking Christ to be our light



Downloads

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Examples

Solo singer, self accompanied on guitar:


Enthusiastic college choir with organ and band backing:


Professional singer with piano accompaniment:


Singer with band - professional recording:

Cantor and choir, piano accompaniment:


Church music group with keyboard:


Lyrics

The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available on the Six Maddens website - and many others also.

The song has five verses. Each is four lines long, and there is a four-line chorus which is repeated after each verse. A rough outline is:
1 Longing for light, we wait in darkness ...

Chorus:
Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.

2 Longing for peace, our world is troubled ...

3 Longing for food, many are hungry ...

4 Longing for shelter, many are homeless ....

5 Many the gifts, many the people ...

See more ...

KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
1 Longing for light, we wait in darkness. Longing for truth, we turn to you. Make us your own, your holy people, light for the world to see. Chorus: Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today. 2 Longing for peace, our world is troubled. Longing for hope, many despair. Your word alone has power to save us. Make us your living voice. 3 Longing for food, many are hungry. Longing for water, many still thirst. Make us your bread, broken for others, shared until all are fed. 4 Longing for shelter, many are homeless. Longing for warmth, many are cold. Make us your building, sheltering others, walls made of living stone. 5 Many the gifts, many the people, many the hearts that yearn to belong. Let us be servants to one another, making your kingdom come.

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