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  • Writer's pictureChurch Muse

"In This, Our House" - KKH and C, S, N & Y

Since we are all staying in our houses, if we are fortunate enough to have one, I thought it would be fun to share two songs about houses. One is about a house in which we live, the other about a house in which we worship. While at home, with so little to do, I suspect many of us are taking care of our houses with cleaning and organizing projects both inside and out. And figuratively, maybe we are cleaning out the house inside us, and exploring new rooms we didn’t even know were there. All good!

Most of us feel safe and secure in our homes, but another side effect of this pandemic which is surging is domestic violence. If you know of someone who might be isolated a home where they are in danger, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can call the national domestic violence hotline - 1-800-799-7233.

I’m sure that the popular “Our House” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is familiar to almost everyone. I found it particularly pleasant to hear the lyrics again. This song always makes me feel warm and cozy. But there’s a similar homey feeling when I enter my church. (I’m lucky to have two!) There’s just something comforting about the building itself. But we all know that the real definition of a church is its people and I miss my people in my houses of worship!

In 2006, when I was organist at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Springfield, VA, the sanctuary was being renovated, and members of the session came to me and asked me to write something for when we would be able to worship in the sanctuary again. I’m not a composer, but I took the challenge and wrote this little anthem. I started by writing the words. They came to me during a sermon, though they had nothing to do with the sermon. (Sorry, Larry!) So I scribbled them in the blank margins of the bulletin and took them home. For the music part, I stole (I like to call it “quoted” 😬) the first four notes from one of my favorite composers, Johannes Brahms - a rising, A-D-E-A pattern which can be found in his G major string sextet as well as his violin and cello double concerto.

So I sat down at the piano with the now typed words on the rack, my little tape recorder going, and started playing and singing wherever my voice would take me. It was as simple as that, not too much editing. I recall thinking at the time, with goosebumps, that God had just handed that to me! All I had before I sat down was just four notes....

The YouTube video here is from the première at Kirkwood. The choir director is Christopher Smith, and the pianist is HongJoo Lee. I was at the organ but only to boost the choral parts with the midi choir on the organ when it went to four parts.The choir did a great job!

In This House

In this house we come together,

To our Lord, we humbly pray,

With one spirit we will worship,

In this house we’ll find our way.

We’ll bring our joy, we’ll bring our sorrow,

Seeking comfort from above.

With His grace we’ll face tomorrow,

In this house, with hope and love.

Here in this house, and with His guidance,

We welcome all who’ve lost their way.

With open doors, we pledge to serve Him

With all our hearts, all of our days.

In this, His house, all of our days!

C, S, N & Y - Our House

Our House

Crosby, Stills & Nash

I'll light the fire

You put the flowers in the vase that you bought today

Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you

Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me

Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good

Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated by the

Sunshine through them, fiery gems for you, only for you

Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard

Life used to be so hard

Now everything is easy 'cause of you

And our la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard

Life used to be so hard

Now everything is easy 'cause of you

And our la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

I'll light the fire while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.

Songwriter: Graham Nash

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