if you do not hear the tune, click
"Silence! frenzied, unclean spirit,"
cried God's healing, holy One.
"Cease your ranting! Flesh can't bear it.
Flee as night before the sun."
At Christ's voice the demon trembled,
from its victim madly rushed,
while the crowd that was assembled
stood in wonder, stunned and hushed.
Lord, the demons still are thriving
in the grey cells of the mind:
tyrant voices, shrill and driving,
twisted thoughts that grip and bind,
doubts that stir the heart to panic,
fears distorting reason's sight,
guilt that makes our loving frantic,
dreams that cloud the soul with fright.
Silence, Lord, the unclean spirit,
in our mind and in our heart.
Speak your word that when we hear it
all our demons shall depart.
Clear our thought and calm our feeling,
still the fractured, warring soul.
By the power of your healing
make us faithful, true and whole.
Words: based on Mark
1:21-28, Thomas H. Troeger,
New Hymns for the Lectionary, 1984
Tune: Carol Doran, New Hymns for the Lectionary,
Text and music copyright © 1984 Oxford University Press, Inc.
This page is for learning only (copyrighted material is
Commit the tune & words to memory, then sing from the heart.
Be thankful for the musician's gift, and bless the Lord.
This hymn text is based on the miracle described in Mark 1:21-28 and Luke
4:31-37. Troeger writes of his hymn:
I was eager to interpret the meaning of demons for people who live in a
post-Freudian, psychological, scientific culture. While writing the text, I
recalled when I was a pastor and a popular movie, "The Exorcist,"
touched off a wave of questions about the meaning of demons and exorcism in the
New Testament. I wished at the time I had had an appropriate hymn. . . . So this
hymn fills that gap. It has been used by some groups in very creative ways to
develop liturgies for the exorcism of social as well as personal demons.
Carol Doran, who has collaborated with Troeger on numerous hymns, wrote
AUTHORITY specifically for this text "in an effort to express the drama of
the moment of this extraordinary healing and to allow the congregation, through
their singing of this music, to participate in a strong retelling of the
story." The accompaniment is provided in the Accompaniment Handbook.
Of all their
hymns, this one most vividly exemplifies Troeger and Doran's goal of creating
"a fusion of poetic and musical idioms" with the character of
"corporate art song." With that aim, the first part of the stanzas
benefits from an angry, nearly unmusical "singing," stressing each
note and syllable. As the text mellows in the second half of each stanza, so can
the singing be more lyrical and calm.
from Hymnal Companion
return to "Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs"
return to Long Green Valley Church "Worship"