Dear Lord in heaven, we come as your people (website only)

A hymn for ordination services

Dear Lord in heaven, we come as your people,
made in your image, our weakness you know.
Now may your Spirit both bless and transform us
into the body of Christ here below.

We thank you, Lord, for the gifts of these people,
called as disciples to kneel in this place.
Now may your Spirit both bless and transform them,
ordained Christ’s agents who minister grace.

We thank you, Lord, for these gifts of creation,
made bread and wine, to sustain everyone.
Now may your Spirit both bless and transform them
into the body and blood of your Son.

Bread, wine, these servants, ourselves as your people,
we offer now and receive them once more,
joined in Christ’s body and called in his service,
filled by your Spirit to love and adore.

Words: © Ken Howcroft 2014


Suggested tune: “Spean” (StF 227) (“Brightest and best of the sons of the morning”)

More information

The Revd Ken Howcroft

From the hand of past-President, the Revd Ken Howcroft, a hymn intended for used in the service of ordination for presbyters and deacons – one of the highlights of every Methodist Conference. He writes:

“I have been aware for years that we do not have contemporary hymns – in fact we do not have many hymns of any age – that refer to ordination. Most of what we end up using are hymns about a general calling to discipleship. There is nothing wrong with using some of those hymns, in that the general call to discipleship is what creates the ministry of the whole people of God, in which we all share. A call to ordination is a particular aspect or focussing of that general call to discipleship.

“But I began to long for something which recognised that specific calling of some within the general calling of all.

“I was also aware that we sing whilst people are receiving communion at an ordination service, but it is hard to find hymns or songs which tie together the ordination theme with that of communion. Eventually, I sat down and after many false starts began to write my own hymn.”

Categories: (, Calling and Commissioning, Conference Sunday, Holy Communion, Howcroft, Ken, Hymns only online (submit to, Spean.

4 Responses to Dear Lord in heaven, we come as your people (website only)

  1. Revd Margaret Millar says:

    I tend to agree with Michael’s comment below in all its aspects. In the Worship Book, the prayer of Thanksgiving makes reference to the Holy Spirit’s ministering to us in such a way that the reality of Christ’s sacrifice is made known to each of us. This is not the same as the bread and wine being changed into the body and blood of Christ.
    Having said that, it is good to have a specific hymn for ordination.

  2. Muriel Sowden says:

    Wesley was very clear in his belief in The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
    “…we learn that the design of this sacrament is, the continual remembrance of the death of Christ, by eating bread and drinking wine, which are the outward signs of the inward grace, the body and blood of Christ.”
    (Sermon CI, The Duty of Constant Communion, I.5)”
    There may be different views of the Eucharist within Methodists today, but Revd Howcroft doesn’t seem to be saying anything contrary to Methodist Doctrine here.

  3. Michael L. Jackson says:

    I think that some comment on verse 3 is needed , given that the President – Designate has just spent a year in Italy . It reads like a simple adoption of transubstantiation and while there is nothing to prevent Methodists from holding diverse views of the Eucharist , our eucharistic hymns do not tie us down to specific understandings .
    The P-D will have used his scholarship to come to this view of the Eucharist , but I think he needs to share his thinking with us . Just as the Orthodox Church expresses its theology in its liturgy , so Methodism has looked to its hymnody to express its theology . I write as one who has been helped more by Catholic spirituality than any other and I retain an open mind as to the theology of the Lord’s

    • Editor says:

      Hi Michael – thank you for comments. I doubt somewhat that this was the intention, but will ensure that your thoughts are noted. If we receive any repsonse, we’ll post it here.

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