In response to the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, charities LICC and Bible Society are releasing ‘Tears and Celebration’, a new hymn featuring world-renowned mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, written by Andy Flannagan with Sam Hargreaves. ‘Tears and Celebration’ is a new hymn for the UK and Commonwealth. It is a song of remembrance, assurance, and repentance, giving voice to the hearts and minds of people all over the world. An abridged version was broadcast on BBC1’s Songs of Praise on Sunday 11 September.
The words were written by Andy Flannagan, aided by Sam Hargreaves, to the well-known tune of ‘Dim Ond Iesu’, best known as the melody to ‘Here is Love Vast as the Ocean’. They offer words to help people give thanks for the Queen’s example and faith: “As he takes her to his promise of an audience with the King, we remember all she gave us, wreaths of gratitude we bring.” They also speak of the Queen’s powerful example of discipleship: “Humble, kind and fair, swift to pray and slow to anger, choosing faith and not despair.” And they pray each of us will be able to make a difference through Christ in the same way: “May we know that same anointing, move in royal authority, then speak liberty and healing to a world in need of peace.”
We see tears and celebration,
for this life so dignified,
bearing thanks and hearts of sadness,
to the God of death and life.
As he takes her to his promise,
of an audience with the King,
we remember all she gave us,
wreaths of gratitude we bring.
In these days of change and trial,
be the rock on which we stand,
when we fear in this new season,
hold us firmly in your hands.
May we rise to her example,
to be humble, kind and fair,
swift to pray and slow to anger,
choosing faith and not despair.
In the midst of coronation,
she once knelt in silent prayer,
oil was poured in Christ’s commission,
called to lead her people there.
May we know that same anointing,
move in royal authority,
then speak liberty and healing,
to a world in need of peace.
Lord forgive, when pride and envy,
leave our nation bruised and stained,
turn us back towards our calling,
to make your name great again.
May we rise above divisions,
Lord, our brokenness we bring,
that a more united kingdom,
would give glory to the King.
When our days are at their dimming,
and our work on earth is done,
may we hear as does our sovereign,
‘Faithful servant, welcome home.’
May we rise with Christ to witness,
a new heav’n and earth displayed,
ours a robe that will not tarnish,
hers a crown that will not fade.