Come All, Draw Near and Eat

This call and response song setting was composed by Mark Howe and has a haunting, challenging, and beautiful shape. The tender, reverent language of this 5th century Syrian Eucharistic prayer is also striking. 

Teach the response first and let the community become comfortable with the intervals through repetition. Once learned, the community might slowly walk or dance their way to the table while singing, pausing to listen to the verses.

The piece is most effective when accompanied by a drone instrument (a shruti box or a soft unison or open fifth on the organ).

"Come all, draw near and eat.

Your heavens are too high for us to reach, (Refrain) 
But here in your house you come close. (Refrain) 
Your throne is a fire none can touch, (Refrain) 
But here you live and dwell in bread and wine. (Refrain) 
You come to us so we can touch you. (Refrain) 
You draw us to you with cords of love. (Refrain) 
You dwell tenderly with us. (Refrain)"

Mark has given faith communities permission to sing and share the song without copyright restrictions.

Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, our latest songbook published by Augsburg Fortress, or in Music By Heart.

Here's a downloadable audio recording of Emily Scott teaching this song and giving suggestions for how to lead it paperlessly (scroll down on the page to "February 9-March 3" to find the song).

Here is a video of the song made by Paul Vasile using Acapella, an iPhone/iPad music collaboration app.

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  • Rachel Kroh
    responded with submitted 2018-03-07 22:49:50 -0500
  • Rachel Kroh
    tagged this with print 2015-03-25 16:35:13 -0400
  • Rachel Kroh
    tagged this with Audio 2015-03-25 16:35:12 -0400
  • Rachel Kroh
    responded 2015-03-23 15:18:06 -0400

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