|First Line:||I come with joy to meet my Lord|
|Title:||I Come with Joy|
|Author:||Brian A. Wren (1970)|
|Copyright:||© 1971, 1995, Hope Publishing Co.|
|Liturgical Use:||Communion Songs|
|Article:||I Come With Joy by Brain Wren (from "The Hymn")|
st. 1 = Gal. 1:4
Brian A. Wren (b. Romford, Essex, England, 1936) wrote this communion hymn in Hockley, Essex, England, in July 1968 and revised it in 1970. The text was first published in the Canadian Anglican-United Hymn Book (1971); he revised it again in 1982 and 1995. Wren wrote this text to summarize a series of sermons on the meaning of the Lord's Supper, specifically as a post-sermon hymn to help illustrate the presence of Christ in the sacrament. He states that he wanted to express this
as simply as possible, in a way that would take the worshipper (probably without . . . recognizing it) from the usual individualistic approach to communion ("I come") to an understanding of its essential corporateness ("we'll go").
Wren has carefully worked out the progression from "I" to "we." This text contains themes of remembrance (st. 1), of sharing the bread and wine in communion with the saints (st. 2-3) and with Christ in his presence (st. 4), and of Christian service (st. 5), but the prevailing tone is one of joy and praise.
Wren is a major British figure in the revival of contemporary hymn writing. He studied French literature at New College and theology at Mansfield College in Oxford, England. Ordained in 1965, he was pastor of the Congregational Church (now United Reformed) in Hockley and Hawkwell, Essex, from 1965 to 1970. He worked for the British Council of Churches and several other organizations involved in fighting poverty and promoting peace and justice. This work resulted in his writing of Education for Justice (1977) and Patriotism and Peace (1983). With a ministry throughout the
English-speaking world, Wren now resides in the United States where he is active as a freelance lecturer, preacher, and full-time hymn writer. His hymn texts are published in Faith Looking Forward (1983), Praising a Mystery (1986), Bring Many Names (1989),New Beginnings (1993), and Faith Renewed: 33 Hymns Reissued and Revised (1995), as well as in many modern hymnals. He has also produced What Language Shall I Borrow? (1989), a discussion guide to inclusive language in Christian worship.
Lord's Supper–sing entire hymn before or during the Lord's Supper; perhaps save stanza 5 for a doxology afterwards.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook