Now to Your Table Spread

Representative Text

1 Now to your table spread
we come, each one in faith
that you alone provide the words of life or death:
in wine and bread,
in promised food
we find your loving heart, O God.

2 Hands of the world stretch out
your mystery to touch
in longing to believe a truth beyond our reach,
to sing in joy,
to cry in grief,
to know your meaning for our life.

3 Here is our common wealth
in sharing what is good,
as though all humankind around one table stood,
this bread to break,
this wine to taste:
one people in the name of Christ.

(This is the only representative text available.)^ top

Author: Shirley Erena Murray

Shirley Erena Murray (b. Invercargill, New Zealand, 1931) studied music as an undergraduate but received a master’s degree (with honors) in classics and French from Otago University. Her upbringing was Methodist, but she became a Presbyterian when she married the Reverend John Stewart Murray, who was a moderator of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. Shirley began her career as a teacher of languages, but she became more active in Amnesty International, and for eight years she served the Labor Party Research Unit of Parliament. Her involvement in these organizations has enriched her writing of hymns, which address human rights, women’s concerns, justice, peace, the integrity of creation, and the unity of the church. Many of her hymn… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Now to Your table spread
Title: Now to Your Table Spread
Author: Shirley Erena Murray (1987)
Language: English
Copyright: Copyright © 1987 by Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission.



John Ireland (b. Bowdon, Cheshire, England, 1879; d. Rock Mill, Washington, Sussex, England, 1962) composed LOVE UNKNOWN in 1918 for the text "My song is love unknown"; the tune was first published in The Public School Hymn Book of 1919. A letter in the London Daily Telegraph of April 5, 1950, claim…

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Instances (1 - 3 of 3)

Alleluia Aotearoa #100

TextPage Scan

The Presbyterian Hymnal #515


Voices United #456

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