Save Us, O Lord
by: Bob Dufford

Refrain:

Save us, O Lord; carry us back.
Rouse your power and come.
Rescue your people; show us your face.
Bring us back.

1. O Shepherd of Israel, hear us. Return and we shall be saved.
Arise, O Lord; hear our cries, O Lord: bring us back!

2. How long will you hide from your people?
We long to see your face. Give ear to us.
Draw near to us, Lord God of hosts!

3. Turn again; care for your vine;
protect what your right hand has planted.
Your vineyards are trampled, uprooted, and burned.
Come to us, Father of might!

This is a hymn but sometimes our music director uses them for the psalms. Psalms are prayers spoken or sung between the first and second readings from scriptures. This Advent, I will be singing the psalm for at least one of the weeks. I feel so blessed with this gift of voice that God has given me. The midi audio for this song is here.

I have always loved music, and naturally singing, since I was a kid. People will tell you, however, that I had a horrible voice… of course I disagreed! Through the years, I’ve been allowed to develop it, by the will of God. By His will also, and through the Drake, I came to the choir here, in Elizabeth, NJ, at Immaculate Conception Church. My voice has really come a long way as far as range. When I was a teenager, I sung almost only Barry Manilow tunes… which you know is of a very low key/note/whatever. My voice, then, adapted and I could not sing high. I could sing some Barbara Streisand and maybe Celine Dion, but my voice could never hit the high notes. I was also singing Meatloaf and other male oriented rock songs which gave me strength, though, I did not know how to use it and usually ruined my voice on Bat Out of Hell. My mother also had a very loud speaking voice and I know for a fact that I inherited that.

Since being here in the choir, however, I have been forced to sing higher and higher because the music director/organist refused to play lower for me. Ugh… but you know, I can now sing higher than when I started. When I am singing in church, my heart is filled with such joy…. Joy that I am allowed to create something beautiful. I believe that God gives me “the voice” each and every time I need it. I mean, it’s very different singing in church than singing along with the radio or CD. Thankfully, I get more and more comfortable singing in front of the congregation each time I do it. Still can’t reach some of those high notes, but the journey is filled with pleasure for me and I hope, God. It doesn’t always go smoothly, but I believe that God’s hand steers me and if I mess up, it’s for a reason. Maybe to show the kids in the CCD class that, hey, we’re all human and Jesus wants to hear us sing, just as we are….. so let ‘er rip!

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