297

Open Our Eyes

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Any song or testimony about the cries that comes from our nations and cities must be met with confessional statements about the mission of the church as listed here.

 

Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 41-43 are explicit and pointed about the mission of the church: “In a world estranged from God, where happiness and peace are offered in many names and millions face confusing choices, we witness—with respect for followers of other ways—to the only one in whose name salvation is found: Jesus Christ.”

 

Later, Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 52-54 point to the task of the church in seeking public justice and functioning as a peacemaker: “We call on our governments to work for peace and to restore just relationships. We deplore the spread of weapons in our world and on our streets with the risks they bring and the horrors they threaten…”

 

The Belhar Confession, section 3 calls the church to be a peacemaker, and section 4 calls the church “to bring about justice and true peace.”

 

Our Song of Hope, stanza 10 calls the church to seek “the welfare of the people” and to work “against inhuman oppression of humanity.”

297

Open Our Eyes

Introductory/Framing Text

This lovely prayer names many of our Christian concerns and missions, each followed by a plea to “Open our eyes!” The text asks God to enlighten us and to connect us with the needs of the world, so that we are drawn to a life of Christian service. 
297

Open Our Eyes

Tune Information

Name
OPEN OUR EYES
Key
E♭ Major
Meter
7.4.6.4.7.4.7 refrain 11.10.10.8

Musical Suggestion

The song may also be used as a prayer of dedication as the people sing, “Teach us compassion and love.” Consider inviting a leader to light a candle at the beginning of each stanza, visually representing our anticipation of the coming light of Christ and our desire to bring his light to a people in darkness.
 
Musically, the song has a folk-like melody that works exceptionally well with a guitar and light rhythm section. Sing the song prayerfully with intensity, feeling one beat per measure. To capture the passion of the prayer, build dynamically out of the stanza into the chorus.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 89)
— Paul Ryan

This gentle tune has the quality of an “old world” folk melody. Sing prayerfully, feeling one beat per measure. Everyone could sing the whole thing, but it may be better to have one or more single voices take the varied texts on the stanzas, with everyone responding with the repeated “Open our eyes.” Try to keep the smallest time gap possible between the “solo” and the “all” portions. Strummed guitar chords or a light piano accompaniment provides a good underlay for the “solo” portions of the stanzas. Use a variety of voices for the different lines; situate them throughout the congregation, each standing for their line(s). Have a cantor or choir bring the congregation in on the “all” portions of the stanzas and the refrain. 
297

Open Our Eyes

Author and Composer Information

Kevin Keil (b. Painsville, Ohio) is a prolific composer of instrumental and vocal pieces. Kevin has been composing nearly as long as he has been involved in church music programs. He believes in taking the very best of our musical heritage and blending it with a contemporary style that makes the music new again.
 
Kevin received a bachelor’s degree in music from Cleveland State University and a master’s in church music and liturgy from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. Before moving to Texas, he was an organist, pianist, guitarist, cantor and music director in Cleveland area Catholic churches for 30 years. He has been director of music and liturgy at Holy Cross Catholic Church in The Colony, Texas, since August 2009.
— OCP (http://www.ocp.org/)

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