A blast from the past: "We are one in the Spirit…"

Haven’t heard this in years, but stumbled on this version by the great Christian group “Jars of Clay.” This hymn used to be a staple at mass when I was in high school — and not so very long ago, it was sung at Pentecost and for confirmations, too.

Its musical merits are debatable, but its message isn’t.  I think we need to remind ourselves that “They’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love…”

So, here’s a little blast from the past for Pentecost.

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15 responses to “A blast from the past: "We are one in the Spirit…"”

  1. A few years ago a young man from our parish was ordained a priest, and came home to celebrate his first Mass. He had requested that song; so the choir dug it out from an old stash of mimeographed music sheets. We got many positive comments on it, so it is back in our repertoire.

  2. Thanks for posting this hymn, Deacon Greg.

    Despite its apparently unsophisticated lyrics and melody, this hymn evokes many significant memories for me.

    It brings me back to the time when I made a Cursillo and became aware, perhaps for the first time, of the demands of being a Christian both in the Church and in the world at large.

    De colores!

  3. This is a great song, and JOC indeed produces wonderful music.

    Carolyn Arends (contemporary Christian singer/songwriter from Canada) also has a cool, modern version of the song on her “Seize the Day” album.

  4. Deacon Greg,

    Back in the mid-80’s I attended a Catholic folk music festival in Albany, NY. Ray Repp, who wrote this song, was there. He explained that he originally wrote it for his fourth grade CCD class, but that it took on a life of its own.

    I still have his Mass for Young Americans album, which was the album that helped launch the whole folk music mass movement! I played guitar for years wiith our folk group. Thanks for the memories.

  5. That and the Prayer of St. Francis are my all-time favorite church songs. They describe Christianity as it should be practiced.

  6. +Fr. Peter Scholtes of blessed memory, this song and music from his “Missa Bossa Nova” are included in the Chapter Nine(a) Podcast on Ken Canedo’s site related to his book _Keep the Fire Burning: The Folk Mass Revolution_

    As a “child of the ’60s” myself, who was not Catholic at the time, I found the podcasts and the book extremely helpful in understanding the music that came out of that period and later. It’s music I enjoy very much… but don’t want in the Mass. I can much better understand it having heard all of these podcasts and read the book.

    At the beginning of the podcast here is a medley of five covers of “We are one in the Spirit…”, including the “Jars of Clay” cover before Ken begins to talk. Ken says Fr. Peter put this and other music together for a choir he organized as an outreach to the gang kids in his area. The original version is sung by Fr. Peter at the end of this Chapter Nine(a) podcast.

    He left the priesthood, married and had a family.

  7. I remember this from high school. Man I hope the choir at my church doesn’t ever decide to drag it out again.

  8. I too remember this hymn…. i wished we still had it as part of our liturgy.

    I’m afraid though that too many of our conservative friends here would find it baseless.

  9. very good version – banjo works much better than guitar – makes music sound less dated – this is very hard song to sing right

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