This is the beginning of a journey through the UU Hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, which is part of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee’s Reading List. I’m calling this journey “Learning the Living Tradition.”
Hymn #1 is “May Nothing Evil Cross this Door.” I first heard this hymn at a Blue Christmas service at the Anchorage UU fellowship several years ago. The words and the music on that quiet, dark December evening set the tone, and said to those gathered, “You are safe here in this sacred space. Come, and be comforted.”
The words are a poem by Louis Untermeyer (1885-1977), called “Prayer for this House.” The tune is Oldbridge, composed by Robert N. Quaile (b. 1867), a Methodist minister’s son and businessperson in Mallow, Ireland. The meter for Oldbridge is 18.104.22.168., and many other tunes with this meter can be substituted for variety.
Here are two ways to experience this hymn:
- UU Church of Nashua (piano, with congregational singing)
- Sheet music (PDF, small fee requested for printing)