You are the centre,
you are my life
Source: Singing the Faith: 567
Words: Margaret Rizza
Music: Margaret Rizza
Ideas for use
Finding a space for stillness in worship (especially, perhaps, Methodist worship!) can be a rare thing. A hymn such as this can enable such spaces to open up. It lends itself to singing before a time of quietness or as a way of leading into the celebration of Holy Communion.
If complete quietness is not something you are looking for in a service, consider asking an instrumental group or accompanist to repeat the music after the words have been sung. The congregation may have sung the words while seated, allowing them more easily to reflect further as the music is played.
A late-comer to composition, Margaret Rizza was strongly influenced in her earlier word settings by Gregorian Chant and Jaques Berthier’s Taizé chants. Her 2006 CD of arrangements of Taizé chants reached #1 in the classical charts. (See Jaques Berthier’s chant-like songs in Singing the Faith.)
Chant implies “words which begin in the mind to become, through repetition, prayer in the heart”, which is very much the feel of “You are my centre”.
Likewise, of her 2013 CD Officium Divinum: A musical journey through the Morning, Midday, Evening and Night Prayers from the Daily Office, Margaret says that her compositions are “not anthems or performance pieces: they are prayers”. This suggests the approach that she would wish us to take to singing this hymn and also In the darkness of the still night (StF 109).
Read more about Margaret in The God of all things – the trust that inspires Margaret Rizza