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As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be…. In the Kyrie, we begin, “In peace, let us pray to the Lord.” In the Gloria, we echo the angel’s sweet words, “peace to those whom God favors.” In the Agnus Dei, we pray that the Lamb of God should grant us peace. And now that the service is ending, we echo Simeon’s words: Lord, now you let your servant go in peace. For my hymn paraphrase of Simeon’s song, the Nunc Dimittis, I selected a tune that also echoes the theme of early American tunes I’ve used throughout the hymn paraphrases of the liturgy. It’s called “Distress,” and despite that name, it’s a plaintive but peaceful tune. We use it for 2 hymns: “We Place Upon Your Table, Lord,” and “O Christ the Healer, We Have Come.” As we indeed have received healing at our Savior’s table, that seems fitting.


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