Revised lyrics for "Rank by Rank"
The original text for hymn #358 in Singing the Living Tradition was written by John Hurley Skrine (1848-1923) and Carl G. Seaburg (1922-1998) before Unitarian Universalists fully understood the impact of ableist language. These new lyrics correct that harm, and introduce a new stanza (#3, below).
Rank by rank come we once more,
From the four winds gathered hither
Loud the hallowed walls implore
Whence we come and how, and whither.
From their stillness breaking clear,
echoes wake to warn or cheer,
Higher truth from saint and seer
Call to us assembled here.
Ours the years’ memorial store,
Honored days and names we reckon,
Days of comrades gone before,
lives that speak and deeds that beckon.
From the dreaming of the night
to the labors of the day,
shines their everlasting light,
guiding us upon our way.
Never from that summons swerve;
Hark the prophets’ living chorus!
Truth and freedom still to serve
Show the present path before us.
As we dream, so shall we dare;
Hands to service, hearts to prayer.
Clouds of witness call us on,
that a nobler day may dawn.
Though the path be hard and long,
still we strive in expectation;
join we now their ageless song
one with them in aspiration.
One in name, in honor one,
guard we well the crown they won;
what they dreamed be ours to do,
hope their hopes, and seal them true.