Musical Reflection: Now the Silence, Now the Peace…

When I was thinking about this week’s theme, one of my favorite communion hymns came into my mind, “Now the Silence, Now the Peace.”  I thought it might be fitting for this week to do a musical reflection on this hymn, including its lyrics and origin.

First, I read a bit into the background of the lyricist, Jaroslav Jan Vajda.  I learned that Vajda, born in 1919, was a Lutheran pastor.  He was also the son of a Lutheran pastor of Slovak descent. Musically trained in childhood, he began translating classical Slovak poetry at the age of eighteen, and his work was published to great accolates through the U.S. and Europe. He went on to attend Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO., but wrote his first hymn at age 49, which was then followed by more than 200 original and translated hymns now published in more than 65 hymnals, translations and articles.  He died in 2008.  Below his picture is a quote from Vajda about this hymn which I find particularly compelling.


“I have felt that we oft­en get so lit­tle out of wor­ship be­cause we an­ti­ci­pate so lit­tle, and we sel­dom come with a buck­et large enough to catch all the show­er of grace that comes to us in that set­ting. Sud­den­ly the hymn be­gan to form in my mind as a list of awe­some and ex­ci­ting things that one should ex­pect in wor­ship, cul­min­at­ing in the Eu­cha­rist and ben­e­dic­tion.” (Jaroslav Jan Vajda, lyricist)

Below is a link to an organ composition on this hymn, and its lyrics, for contemplative mediation today:

Now the Silence, Now the Peace 


Now the silence
Now the peace
Now the empty hands uplifted
Now the kneeling
Now the plea
Now the Father’s arms in welcome
Now the hearing
Now the power
Now the vessel brimmed for pouring
Now the body
Now the blood
Now the joyful celebration
Now the wedding
Now the songs
Now the heart forgiven leaping
Now the Spirit’s visitation
Now the Son’s epiphany
Now the Father’s blessing

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