A Call to Christians (A light within the world)

This hymn about the Christian vocation to give witness was written by Australian Roman Catholic (Franciscan Missionary of Mary) religious sister, Irene O'Connor FMM (ref).   It was originally released under the name Myriam Frances.

It was written in the 1960s while she was working as a teacher in Singapore, and included on an LP, Sing a Song to the Lord (ref), which was recorded and released by Phillips in Australia in 1973.   It was reportedly included in a cathedral hymnal in Singapore(*), and appears to have been used in  a number of places since.

The original recording was somewhat ethereal, matching the delicate poetry of the text.  However most people now sing the song as a more robust / rousing entrance or recessional hymn.

In 1994, Filipino priest Fr. J. Roel Lungay recorded the song, with some adaptations to the tune as he was not able to locate the music for the original (ref).

Some printed versions say that the first line of the chorus as "We come with You, O Christ" - but the original is clearly "We come with joy, O Christ", and this is sung by some groups.

No sources of sheet music have been located, although records from the National Library of Australia says that a 27-page song book was produced in the 1970s.

(*)  Was this the "Hosanna! Hymnal"?  Please leave a message in the Comments box near the bottom of the page if you have any information about it.



Downloads


Examples

The original recording - Sr Irene O'Connor with instruments



Small choir with piano:



Large choir with band:



Professional recording by Fr Roel Lungay



Choir and congregation, with organ:



Choir with piano - Fr Roel Lungay arrangement


Lyrics

1. A light within the world
Yes, witnesses are we,
To bear the light of Christ
For all the world to see

Refrain:
We come with joy, O Christ
In answer to Your Call;
Through love we give all.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Your love and light, O Lord,
You send us to impart
To those who know You not
Yet love You in their heart.

3. Have mercy on the world
That sin and strife may cease;
Extend your reign, O Christ,
You are the King of Peace.


This verse appears with one use of the hymn.  But the style and meter is different from the original, it was likely added by someone else:
And when I pray thou prayest too
Thy pray’r is all for me
But when I sleep thou sleepest not
But watchest patiently.

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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
1. A light within the world
Yes, witnesses are we,
To bear the light of Christ
For all the world to see

Refrain:
We come with you, O Christ
In answer to Your Call;
Through love we give All.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Your love and light, O Lord,
You send us to impart
To those who know You not
Yet love You in their heart.

3. Have mercy on the world
That sin and stife may cease;
Extend your reign, O Christ,
You are the King of Peace.

And when I pray thou prayest too
Thy pray’r is all for me
But when I sleep thou sleepest not
But watchest patiently.

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