Christ be in my understanding (website only)

Elements of Worship:
Dismissal/Sending Out
Authors & translators:
Prince, Rachael (auth)
Composers & arrangers:
Prince, Rachael (comp)

1. Christ be in my understanding,
Christ be in my words and deeds,
Christ be where my footsteps take me,
Christ be provider of my needs.

2. Christ be in my waking moments,
At the dawn of each new day.
May I see the light of your presence
Shine in those I meet today.

3. Christ be in my busy living,
In the challenges I face.
May I look for signs of your wonder
In each and every time and place.

4. Christ be in my time of resting,
Thankful for your gifts bestowed.
Grant us peace, our souls replenish,
As this day draws to a close.

Words and music: © Rachael Prince

Metre: Irregular

Download music as a PDF

Ideas for use

As Rachael suggests (see below) these are words for holding on to throughout the day. You may wish to include them in your personal prayer or reflection time at the start of a day, speaking or singing them out loud or to yourself. Consider saying or singing them with a pause in between each verse, allowing time to ask what each verse will mean for you today.

This idea of pausing between verses can also apply to the hymn’s use in a service of worship. The hymn can be used as part (or instead) of a longer selection of prayers.

Consider having the first line of each verse sung by a solo voice.

More information

Rachael Prince is a minister in the High Wycombe Circuit where she looks after four churches. Prior to entering presbyteral ministry, she was a freelance musician and local preacher in the Witney and Faringdon Methodist circuit in Oxfordshire. She comments that “a lot of hymns introduced to my congregation from Singing the Faith have been in this more reflective style. At the time of writing this particular hymn I was probably reading Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict by Esther De Waal. I’m attracted to the Celtic traditions and the idea of words and a form of spirituality that goes with you throughout the day.”

Rachael mentions, in particular, Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart (StF 545).

Note that the final phrase of the hymn draws us out from our individual experiences (“Christ be in my waking moments” etc.) to a communal prayer:

Grant us peace, our souls replenish,
As this day draws to a close.

As Rachael points out, “as a congregation we’re there collectively as well as being individuals” – and these words affirm the idea that we don’t go from worship alone but as part of a working, praying, hopeful Christian community.

Other hymns in Singing the Faith that reflect Celtic traditions include:

The influence of Celtic tradition is also to be found in different ways in the words as well as the melodies of many hymns by John Bell and Graeme Maule e.g. especially the trinitarian affirmations God to enfold you, Christ to uphold you (StF 648) and Today I awake and God is before me (StF 139).

As a local preacher, Rachael found her training and service preparation helpful when it came to writing the words of hymns; however, it was usually the melodies that came to her first. She describes how, when she was teaching piano and violin, in between music lessons she would often find herself sitting at the piano, improvising.

Partly, perhaps, because these were quiet, personal moments, Rachael found that it was a reflective style of music and setting that came most naturally to her, as in this hymn. At the same time, the words need to have resonance with her own everyday experience. “The hymns I like to sing are those that have some relevance to my own daily life – they will be reflect what’s going on for me.”

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