Kyrie Eleison, have mercy
This song was commissioned for the 2010 Lausanne Conference on Evangelism, and is a song of intercession based on the ‘Kyries’ section of the book of common prayer, where we ask God to have mercy on us.
When I am in liturgical settings where the Kyries are said or sung, I often find it very moving and powerful experience. Our church services are not meant to be an ‘escape’ from the world, a retreat from ‘real life’ with all its pressures and pains. I believe we are meant to bring that pressure, that pain, that sorrow and frustration into church with us and express it to God, just as the Psalmist did. By doing that we can begin to get a sense of God’s heart and perspective on these things, for He is cares more deeply about the state of our world than we ever could.
Sometimes the two Great Commandments of Jesus are read out at this point in the service, and I’ve included them in one of the verses. It causes me to wonder what a difference it might make to this suffering world if we really did love God with all our heart, mind and strength, and love our neighbours as ourselves.
Kyrie Eleison, have Mercy,
Christe Eleison, have mercy.
As we come before You with the needs of our world,
We confess our failures and our sin;
For our words are many yet our deeds have been few,
Fan the fire of compassion once again.
When the cries of victims go unheard in the land,
And the scars of war refuse to heal,
Will we stand for justice to empower the weak
Till their bonds of oppression are no more?
If we love our God with all our heart, mind and strength,
And we love our neighbours as ourselves,
Then this law of love will heal the nations of earth
And the glory of Christ will be revealed.
Lord, renew our vision to be Christ where we live,
To reach out in mercy to the lost;
For each cup of kindness to the least in our midst
Is an offering of worship to the throne.