"Sing joy"

The writer well remembers the occasion upon which she first heard the hymn known as "Mother's Evening Prayer" (Poems, p. 4) by our beloved Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, the first line of which is, "O gentle presence, peace and joy and power." She entered church just as it was being sung from our then newly revised Hymnal. The tender, comforting sense of Love's living presence, which it brought to her longing heart that day, has returned in some measure with each repetition of this beautiful song of praise and promise, through all the years since.

A sweet incident in her experience of the ministry of Christian Science among children came about through this hymn. She was called to help a little boy who seemed to be suffering from a fever. The child's mother, herself a very earnest student of Science, was usually able, by her own clear perception of Truth, to meet the emergencies of her little household. However, this error appeared to be a stubborn one, and an extreme sense of fear claimed to have the upper hand. For many hours the mother had held the child in her arms, in a vain attempt to comfort and quiet him. The practitioner sat with her for a few moments, endeavoring by both silent and audible argument to do the work. But the nervous tension of the mother and the restlessness of the child precluded calm thought. Over and over again the little fellow made some moaning, fretful petition, until at last the practitioner said: "Isn't he asking for something? Perhaps if we could find out what it is, we could realize the truth to better advantage. It sounds as though he kept saying, 'Sing joy, mama; sing joy, sing joy.' " At this the poor little mother broke into weeping. "That's just it," she sobbed. "When anything ails him he always wants me to sing 'O gentle presence, peace and joy and power'—but I can't sing, I can't sing!" "Oh, yes, indeed you can," said her friend with a sudden uplift of spirit. "The dear baby knows what he needs. You can 'sing joy' for him, and I shall be helping you."

"The Prince of Peace"
October 27, 1923

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