The original writer of this folk hymn is unknown. It was published by Scripture in Song in their first hymnal, Songs of Praise, and was widely used as an Introit in New Zealand in the 1970s. Worship leaders frequently added a few verses as needed to expand it to hymn length, and/or fit it to the theme of their service or congregation.
In this setting, verse 2 references the famous poem ‘Christ has No Body But Yours’, attributed to St Theresa of Ávila, a framework for christian duty which I find very powerful. The third verse restates the opening verse, moving the perspective from the One God whom we are worshipping to the shared faith of the worshippers: a prayer for unity.
The arrangement is based on one I wrote for our symphonic worship band, ‘The Tucker Band’ in Hokitika about 15 years ago. I have kept the brass and woodwind introduction, but expanded and through-composed the arrangement to take advantage of the additional colours and timbres offered by my current orchestra, while trying to retain the simplicity of the original 2-section arrangement.
Listen to the Audio file here, or preview the SD version on YouTube.
Short and meditative in 3 verses, We are Gathering Together Unto Him is available as audio only, or as a Lyric Video in two sizes, in a setting which is a comfortable sing for all congregations.
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