Enter, Rejoice and Come In (Today will be a joyful day)

This gathering hymn appears to be based on Psalm 100, verse 4: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him".

It seems to have first been used in the repertoire of Roman Catholic folk-songs in the late 1960s:  Youtube has a recording of a school choir with guitar quartet performing it then, and it was definitely sung in New Zealand in the 1970s to the same tune as that video but with slightly different words. The internet has references to it being sung and included in Catholic hymn-collections in Africa in the following 20 years.   And it seems to have been sung at the funeral of Thomas Merton in 1969 (ref).

In 1992, the song was included in the American Catholic Hymnbook, published by American Catholic Press (ref).  This credits the music and text to Louise Ruspini, and in the notes says they are copyright 1973.

The song, with a harmonization by Betty A. Wylder (1923-1994), was included in the hymnal "Singing the Living Tradition" published by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1993 (ref), and YouTube shows it is popular in United Unitarian churches. There was a slight change to the tune, and some new and very different verses (eg "don't be afraid of some change").

It is in the New Century Hymnal, published by the United Church of Christ in Cleveland, USA in 1995. This also credits the song to Louise Ruspini (no further details provided), and says that copyright was registered to The Pilgrim Press in 1993.

This Unitarian website says it was written for a collection called “Journey to Freedom.” A Spanish-language version, Ven, ven, alégrate hoy, is included in the hymnal "Las Voces del Camino", published by the Asociación Unitaria Universalista de Congregaciones, in Boston, USA in 2009. This credits Louise Ruspini as the author, but says the text copyright is "Traducción: © 1999 Lilia Cuervo (colombiana, n. 1937)"

If you have any more information about Louise Ruspini and when / where the song was originally written, please leave a message in the Comments box near the bottom of the page.



Downloads

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Examples

Folk-style singer, self-accompanied on guitar:


Congregation with piano:


School choir and guitar quartet - recording from the 1960s:


Adult choir with band - 21st century liturgy:


Guitar-led band with congregation:


Lyrics

Original lyrics

Enter, rejoice, and come in.
Enter, rejoice, and come in.
Today will be a joyful day;
enter, rejoice, and come in.

Open your hearts to the Lord
Open your hearts to the Lord
Today will be a joyful day;
Open your hearts to the Lord.

Welcome your King and your God;
Welcome your King and your God;
Today will be a joyful day,
Welcome your King and your God.

Open your hearts to all people(*)
Open your hearts to all people
Today will be a joyful day,
open your hearts to all men.

Sing alleluia,
Sing alleluia
Today will be a joyful day,
Sing alleluia.

More-recent lyrics

Enter, rejoice, and come in.
Enter, rejoice, and come in.
Today will be a joyful day;
enter, rejoice, and come in.

Open your ears to the song.
Open your ears to the song.
Today will be a joyful day; enter,
rejoice, and come in.

Open your hearts ev’ryone.
Open your hearts ev’ryone.
Today will be a joyful day; enter,
rejoice, and come in.

Don’t be afraid of some change.
Don’t be afraid of some
change. Today will be a joyful day;
enter, rejoice, and come in.

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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
Enter, rejoice, and come in.
Enter, rejoice, and come in.
Today will be a joyful day;
enter, rejoice, and come in.

Lift up your hearts to the Lord
Lift up your hearts to the Lord
Today will be a joyful day;
lift up your hearts to the Lord.

Open your hearts to all people(*)
Open your hearts to all people
Today will be a joyful day,
open your hearts to all men.
Sing alleluia,
Sing alleluia
Today will be a joyful day,
Sing alleluia.

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