Hymn: O God, Our Words Cannot Express

The following hymn-prayer was written by Carolyn Gillette on September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks that results in deaths in New York City (including the college roommate of our children's choir director), Washington, DC (including the brother-in-law of a Habitat for Humanity volunteer who worked in our church) and Pennsylvania.  The hymn was shared widely, sung at victims' funerals and featured on national PBS-TV and the BBC in the UK.


O God, Our Words Cannot Express
ST. ANNE CM ("Our God, Our Help in Ages Past") (MIDI)


O God, our words cannot express 

The pain we feel this day.

Enraged, uncertain, we confess

Our need to bow and pray.


We grieve for all who lost their lives...

And for each injured one.

We pray for children, husbands, wives

Whose grief has just begun.



O Lord, we're called to offer prayer

For all our leaders, too.

May they, amid such great despair,

Be wise in all they do.


We trust your mercy and your grace;

In you we will not fear!

May peace and justice now embrace!

Be with your people here!


Tune: Attr. William Croft, 1708.

Text: Copyright © 2001 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.
Email:  bcgillette@comcast.net   Web site:  www.carolynshymns.com Copied from Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books). 

A YouTube video of  "O God, Our Words Cannot Express" sung Noel Paul Stookey (of "Peter, Paul & Mary") and the Northfield Mount Herman School Choir was produced by the Emmy-winner Pete Staman using images from September 11thfor Church World Service.