Before I take the body of my Lord

Before I take the body of my Lord. John Lamberton Bell* (1949- ) and Graham Maule* (1958- ). From Love from Below (Wild Goose Songs 3) (1989), where the title is ‘These I lay down’. It was written for a Thursday night Eucharist at Iona Abbey, in which the participants are seated round tables rather than facing the altar. It is a hymn of confession, although John Bell is on record as saying that he sometimes feels that ‘we overdose ourselves in confession’ at Holy Communion (Companion to ICH5, 2005, p. 548). Accordingly the hymn is a gentle though comprehensive reminder of the ‘sorry things within’ (stanza 1 line 3). The participant in the Communion service lays these sins down before...

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