466 - How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord

Tune: Repton

As one who works with people trying to discern their vocation [usually to holy orders], my experience has been that vocations are rarely "clear".  So even though I love the way the text is set, the structure of the poetry, how tasty those holy words feel sung to that beautiful music, I have to sing this hymn with my fingers crossed, because I don't really believe the first verse.  In my experience, living the Christian life can bring moments of clarity, but also moments of questioning, uncertainty and ambiguity.  This text is too static and "certain" for me.

On the other hand, the music is totally wonderful.  This particular arrangement by Michael Fleming clarifies the inner voices and removes much of the extra figuration of the original.  This arrangement is perfect for playing the right hand on a solo stop, like the Tuba Magna on this recording.