“For Everyone Born, a Place at the Table (A Human Rights Hymn).”
Lyricist and New Zealander, Shirley Erena Murray, wrote in 1996 one of the most outstanding hymns of the 20th century: “For Everyone Born, a Place at the Table (A Human Rights Hymn).” ¹ They are some of the most inspiring verses I have every sung. You, too, have sung them lately if you were in worship on June 21 or listened to worship on FaceBook. Thanks to Sharon Kelley, she found an additional 6th verse which we use.
With our fancy new newsletter, I wanted to find a YouTube link so that you could sing along at home and start your day off with inspiration. The refrain is empowering:
And God will delight when we are creators of justice and joy, compassion and peace;
Yes, God will delight when we are creators of justice, justice and joy. ¹
My search began to find you that YouTube link that included all the verses, but an hour and a half later, I was at a dead end. It was as if the 6th verse that Sharon found did not exist! After listening to the 25th music video, I found the verse. The video was exactly like the other videos (every verse but the 6th verse), but it printed the 6th verse as “optional.” After further reading, I found that the 6th verse was often omitted from the denominational hymnals. Let me share the “optional” verse with you:
For gay and for straight, a place at the table, a covenant shared, a welcoming space.
A rainbow of race and gender and colour. For gay and for straight, the chalice of grace. ¹
The verse invites gay, straight, and a rainbow of race and gender and colour to the table where there is a place for each and everyone. A place at the table and the chalice of grace is a solid invitation. It is not “optional.” There is a place at the table and chalice of grace waiting for ALL, no exclusions.
Thank you, Shirley Erena Murray. You have inspired my soul. You were not afraid to remind us that ALL are welcomed. Remember, God delights when “we are creators of justice and joy.” ¹ Go forth, Holy Cross Lutheran Church and sing, sing, sing!
Becky Jones-Music and Worship Coordinator
¹ Murrary, Shirley Erena. “For Everyone Born, a Place at the Table.” For Everyone Born a Place - Hope Publishing Company, Hope Publishing Company, 1998, https://www.hopepublishing.com/find-hymns-hw/hw342.aspx.