Presbyterian hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has offered this hymn in response to the atrocity in Orlando; writes Bruce Winfrey Gillette, “We hope the new hymn will help people grieving the Orlando shootings and encourage them to work to end discrimination, hate crimes and gun violence.”

To a Place of Celebration

To a place of celebration filled with laughter, dancing, joy,
Came such violent devastation— one man’s efforts to destroy.
God, we grieve for loved ones taken; we lament, “What can we do?”
Now, we’re feeling lost and shaken; heal our nation! Make us new!

Weapons kill— and so does silence; hear our prayer as we confess:
We have given in to violence, we have bowed to hopelessness.
God, we’ve lost our sense of vision of a world where there will be
Plowshares made from violent weapons, justice in society.

Give our leaders strength for action, give them minds to mend our flaws,
Give them courage and compassion, and the will to change our laws.
May we work for legislation that will curb guns’ awful toll.
God, renew our dedication to a world that’s just and whole.

Give us love to change our vision; give us love to cast out fear.
Give us love to speak with wisdom— love to work for justice here.
Give us love to welcome difference— love no hatred can destroy.
Only love can stop the violence; only love will bring back joy.

Biblical References:  Isaiah 4:2; 1 John 4:18; James 3:1-12; Micah 6:8; Matthew 25:35
Tune: Thomas John Williams, 1890.  Alternative Tune:  BEACH SPRING
Text: Copyright © 2016 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: [email protected]   New Hymns:
Permission is given for free use of this hymn for church services.

Download the words and music here:

To a Place of Celebration – complete music

To a Place of Celebration (Melody).