“Whose Children These?” A beautiful hymn response to Newtown.

Whose Children These?

(A new hymn text by Frank Ramirez for the Christmas carol “What Child Is This?” originally written by William C. Dix, 1865, set to the tune Greensleeves, a traditional English melody.)

Whose children these,
who laid to rest,
Tear every heart in weeping?

Whose children these,
God, tell us please?
Uphold them in your keeping.

Each reaching above the fray
To heaven’s border where angels pray,
Love, moving past hate and fear,
To save and cherish our children.

The wind blows cold.
These ills behold,
As rage and evil come feeding.

We see, we hear,
Oh God, we fear
That none can staunch the bleeding.

You are greater than evil’s reign.
Stand in our midst, we pray, remain.
Comfort hearts, we’ll play our parts,
So nothing love impeding.

Each child’s name with us remain,
These sorrows sharing
with those who weep

Whose loss is great,
against this hate
Your love abiding be done.

Reign! Rein in insanity,
Install in all your divinity!
So then may we, one humanity,
See your will as in heaven be won.

— Frank Ramirez is pastor of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. “Here is a hymn text I wrote around 2 a.m. this morning for use in our worship service,” Ramirez wrote when he submitted the hymn as a resource. “For my message I added the text from Matthew on the Slaughter of the Innocents…. We sang it at the end of worship to (the tune) Greensleeves. Here it is, in case others want to sing it.”


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