Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of over 400 hymns that have been sung by thousands of congregations around the world, and are found in 20 books and thousands of web sites, including Many of her hymns are published at Sojourners and are also found in Christian Century magazine, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and PBS-TV. She and her husband Bruce are Presbyterian ministers who have served congregations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. View the Sojourners video on Carolyn's hymns here.

Posts By This Author

O God, We Grieve the Hatred

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 03-17-2019

Flowers and signs are seen at a memorial site for victims of the mosque shootings, at the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

O God, we grieve the hatred, the ugly, racist fear
that hurts our common living and harms those you hold dear.
For Muslims who were gathered to worship and to pray
soon found their lives were shattered as violence filled their day.

A Hymn for Loving Those Who Hate Us

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 02-21-2019

Christ, your words of love confound us,
even as we give you praise,
for the lessons that you teach us seem
so far from this world’s ways. How can we love those who hate us?
How can we love enemies?
What of people who abuse us? 
How can we love even these?

When Any Child Suffers, Pray That Love Will Win

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 12-17-2018

Image via Reuters/Josue Decavele

O God of great compassion, you love each little one;
So shake us loose from our believing nothing can be done.
When any child is suffering, Lord, we pray that love will win;
God, may we now obey your word and welcome children in.

A Hymn for the Third Sunday of Advent

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 12-14-2018

People asked him, “How can we
Turn and serve God faithfully?”
John responded, “Be the good
In your home and neighborhood.”
God has called you!  Have you heard?
God has said a mighty word!
Listen, people! Turn from wrong.
Turn around and sing God's song.
Seek God’s justice!  Pave the way!
God is bringing this new day.”

A Hymn for Neighbors Seeking Asylum

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 11-26-2018

Asylum seekers traveling from Central America en route to the United States cross the Tijuana river to reach the border fence between Mexico and the United States in Tijuana, Mexico, Nov. 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

When children scream from tear gas where they’ve been told to wait,
when signs tell families, “Don’t pass!” outside our nation’s gate—
O Lord who welcomed children and loves each little one,
we cry, “Where is compassion?” We pray, “What have we done?”

Thanks for a God Who Redeems the Earth

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 11-14-2018

O God, as the prophet proclaimed long ago,
You care for your earth and your gifts overflow.
Though sin leads to things that disrupt and destroy,
You work to redeem and to bring life and joy.

One Day, Naomi and Ruth Crossed the Border

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 11-02-2018
REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

A woman in a group of Central Americans who are hoping to apply for asylum, waits with the others at the border on an international bridge between Mexico and the U.S. in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

One day, Naomi and Ruth crossed the border,
This day, we see streams of new refugees.
God, you have called us to welcome the stranger;
May we in love welcome people like these.

O God, This Day We Grieve

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 10-27-2018

Vigil for the victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Penn., Oct. 27, 2018. REUTERS/John Altdorfer

O God, this day we grieve your children who were lost,
and we, as one, are horrified by hatred’s cost.
For people loved by you— your children, called and blest—
were murdered on their Sabbath Day of prayer and rest.

A Hymn for Justice

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 10-02-2018
As women rise to tell the truth,
their voices go unheeded.
God show us what will be:
you're building your community!

O God, When Trust is Shattered

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 08-23-2018

Saint Patrick Catholic Church is seen in York, Penn., Aug. 18, 2018. Picture taken August 18, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

This new hymn is in response to the latest news of abuse by clergy; it was written with input from survivors and counselors. The hymn also references Pope Francis’ Aug. 20 letter, using in particular: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Please share the hymn with priests, pastors, church musicians, counselors, friends and others who might find it helpful. Permission is given for its free use. Prayers, including sung ones, and actions are needed to “Bring healing, love and mercy; Bring justice, God of truth.”