Strengthen for Service

Here is a lovely eucharistic piece by Richard Proulx, his setting of one of his favorite texts.

Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands
That holy things have taken;
And let ears that heard your most holy word
To lesser things never waken.

Lord, may tongues which ‘Holy’ sang
Be free from all deceiving;
May eyes which saw your love be bright
Heavenly hope perceiving.

And may feet that walked along hallowed courts
From your true light never be banished.
May bodies by your Body fed
Be with your new life replenish. Amen.

– text, Malabar Liturgy; audio, “Spirit of God Unleashed,” GIA CD 405, with permission


  1. This piece demonstrates that we can sing some prayers which cannot be recited successfully as the English is clearly not the way we would speak (at least in the U.S.)…but it is the way we sing.

    Anyone ever been at a Mass where the Gloria & the Holy, Holy, Holy have been spoken instead of sung? They are meant to be sung…and when reciting them, they are just a bunch of words jammed together & actually sound quite boring…but sung…ahhhh, the stuff of the angelic choirs!

    1. “Anyone ever been at a Mass where the Gloria & the Holy, Holy, Holy have been spoken instead of sung?”

      Sadly, I think that’s the observed norm on weekdays. Even my home parish usually just speaks the Gloria on Sundays (at least at the Mass I attend). The most deflating experience for me was this past Easter Vigil, when one of the deacons spoke the Exsultet. How can you just say “Sing, choirs of angels, exult, heavenly powers!”

      1. When the deacon is unable to sing the Exsultet (and most can’t…it’s a difficult piece & there’s no accompaniment), you get a cantor or choir member to sing it…

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