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Presbyterian hymn writer pens ‘Now There Is War’


Carolyn Winfrey Gillette’s hymn laments the deaths of children in the Middle Eastern war

February 5, 2024

Photo by Arusfly via Unsplash

Presbyterian hymn writer and pastor the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written “Now There Is War” to help Presbyterians as they sing, pray and act for peace.

The new hymn is set to the melody “O WALY WALY,” which is also the tune for “Though I May Speak.”

“This hymn laments the deaths of children in the current Middle Eastern war,” Gillette says on her website.

Gillette grants permission for free use of the hymn, adding she would appreciate hearing (even afterward) that you used it. Reach her here. Her hymns can be found here.

Now There Is War
O WALY WALY (“Though I May Speak”)
Now there is war and children die,
but theirs is not the battle cry.
This is their time to live and grow —
to think of things the young should know.

This is their time to open doors —
to read new books, to do their chores,
to make new friends, to share their bread.
The world gives pain and death instead.

This is their time for soccer teams,
for watching clouds, for dreaming dreams.
They long for peace; they’re told to “Wait!”
They long for love; they’re taught to hate.

O God, your reign belongs to these
who make up songs and skin their knees.
May we seek peace and daily strive
to build a world where they may thrive.

Mike Ferguson, Editor, Presbyterian News Service

Today’s Focus: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette’s pens ‘Now There is War’ hymn

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Jon Baxter, Engineer, Administrative Services Group (A Corp)
Glen Bell, Senior Vice President of Development, Presbyterian Foundation

Let us pray

O God, when the world’s needs seem to overwhelm our ability to help, let us remember that you ask us to give what we have, not what we do not have. By your Spirit, we can do more than we ever dreamed. Give us faith to trust your Word and obey your commands through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.