Noted Presbyterian hymn-writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has penned a new hymn to help promote the National Donor Sabbath, which encourages organ donation.
The hymn, “God, Each Day You Give is Precious,” is sung to the tune BEACH SPRING (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending.” Gillette has given permission for free use of the hymn in any local church promoting organ donation.
During National Donor Sabbath, faith leaders from many religions, donor families, transplant recipients, and donation and transplantation professionals participate in services and programs to increase awareness of the need for the lifesaving and enhancing gifts passed to others through transplantation and encourage people to sign up in their state registry as organ, eye, tissue, donors.
While more than 100 million people are registered organ donors, the need for organs keeps growing. Currently, more than 120,000 people are on the organ transplant waiting list.
The full text of Winfrey Gillette’s hymn:
God, Each Day You Give is Precious
BEACH SPRING 188.8.131.52 D (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)
God, each day you give is precious; it’s a joyful thing to live!
We are stewards of the wonders of these bodies that you give.
In our heartbeats, in our breathing, in our walking, in our sight,
We are blessed to be a blessing, and your grace is our delight.
Yet when tragedy is sudden, when we’re faced with pain and death,
When a body is too broken to receive another breath,
When it seems that none can cheer us, when a loved one is too ill,
In these times when death is near us, life becomes more precious still.
We are grateful for the vision of the ones who have prepared:
Who have made the firm decision that, in death, life must be shared,
For when earthly bodies fail them, as they’re welcomed into heaven,
Others here will know a blessing from the life these saints have given.
God, we thank you for the families who, in saying their good-byes,
Seek to end their neighbors' suffering, giving hope and changing lives —
And for resurrection glory, we give thanks and praises, too.
Death can never end our story, for you’ll make us whole and new.
We are made to make a difference, we are made to laugh and dance,
So we thank you for each person who receives a second chance.
For they know that life is precious; they can see another dawn.
They are blessed to be a blessing as the joy of life goes on.
Tune: The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White ("God Whose Giving Knows No Ending") (MIDI)
Alternate tune: KINGSFOLD, English Country Songs, 1893; English Hymnal, 1906 ("Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples") (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.To contact Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Her hymns can be found on the web site: www.carolynshymns.com/.