Tears in Church

All of my adult life, I have had trouble with crying.  When you cry in front of people who do not know you well, it is often alarming to them, and an embarrassment to you. I am writing this on Sunday afternoon, and in church this morning, I cried during a hymn. It was not well known to me, but something in the words just opened the flood gates. I had to step out for a bit to get ahold of myself.

Thinking about it in retrospect, I know that I am in excellent company.  My dear husband was a Vietnam Vet, U.S. Navy. A big guy, 6ft. 4in. tall, you might not guess this upon a first or third glance, but he sometimes had the same problem.  Like me, various hymns or songs would bring tears to his eyes.  Some years ago, when we lived in Arizona, we went to church one Sunday and were singing a hymn when suddenly, he quit singing. I looked over at him, and the tears were streaming down his face. It took me a minute, but then I connected the dots. The hymn was the Navy Hymn traditionally used when there was a burial at sea.

Eternal Father, strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave
Who biddest the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy Word
Who walked on the foaming deep
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude
And bid its angry tumult cease
And give, for wild confusion, peace
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea

O Trinity of love and power
Our family shield in dangers hour
From rock and tempest, fire and foe
Protect us wheresoever we go
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea

(Words: Will­iam Whit­ing 1860; Music: Melita, John B. Dykes 1861)

If you are interested, I attach several links you may follow to hear it sung.

59th anniversary of the Korean War armistice –The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters — Arlington National Cemetery

Memorial Day 2020 – U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club – U.S.S. Arizona Memorial

This entry was posted in Church, Marriage, Sacrifice, War and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tears in Church

  1. Jan Seibel says:

    So many things about this post, I too have trouble keeping a dry eye during many hymns or Christian songs. Many have had a deep meaning or were a source of strength at some moment in time. I believe God is in the midst when that happens, imparting a message. As for Ron, my brother-in-law, a tough Vietnam Vet, is also the same way, it amazes me. Men of steal have tender hearts of gold. That is a beautiful song! I had not heard it before that I can remember.

Leave a Reply