Two Emmanuel Grads Win Second in the Great Canadian Hymn Competition

A song by two Emmanuel grads called May your Hearts Be Ever Merry was selected second place out of 75 submissions in the Great Canadian Hymn Competition II, and was sung in concert by the acclaimed Pax Christi Chorale on Sun. Oct 6, 2013 at Grace on the Hill Church.

John Wesley Oldham (EMM 6T9) wrote the words as a prayer-blessing, inspired by a dying friend, and read to him by John in a support circle. Larry Marshall (EMM 7T6) set it to music the same day he received the words and included it in their book of songs published in 2009 and 2011 Music of the Spirit...Songs of the Heart. Harvey Patterson, former choir leader at Forest Hill United and current conductor of Harmony Singers, arranged it. In the more radical 60's, Oldham lived for three years in Burwash Hall and was active with Bob Rae in the student movement/politics. Bob was his campaign manager when he ran and lost the race for U of T student president, so he got ordained instead! Over two years ago, Oldham teamed with another Vic-Emmanual grad, Fred Joblin (early 1970s), in a CD and book of 17 of their songs. Fred died three weeks before the CD release concert in Orillia. Four Oldham/Spirit songs are in More Voices, the 2007 United Church hymn book supplement. Larry Marshall died in June 2012.


Second prize winner in The Great Canadian Hymn Competition II
Sung in concert Oct. 6, 2013 by the Pax Christi Chorale in Toronto

May your hearts be ever merry!
May you know the gift of grace.
May you sense the sacred Presence
As you share in (Life’s) embrace. Larry; "life’s"
May you grow through time of (suffering,)
May you learn from times of strain,
May your feel that you are guided
As you share in (Love’s) refrain. May your spirit know advancement.
May your soul know inner peace.
May your laughter, born of crying,
Be a sign of (Love’s) release.

May you live and die rejoicing.
May you sense Great Spirit near.
May you venture on with courage
As your faith replaces fear.
May your death be a transition.
May your spirit be set free,
May you let go of the body
As you greet your destiny.
May you grow through time of sorrow,
May your grieving help you heal.
May you pilgrim on with courage
As life’s purpose is revealed.

May you have a sacred vision.
May you know you’re not a alone.
May the guiding hands befriend you
As you taste bread made from stone.
May you sing the Alleluia!
May your spirit offer praise.
May you know the inner wisdom
That will lead you in (Love’s) ways.

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