A priest and performer considers religion, the arts, and the often thin space between sacred and secular, church and culture, pulpit and pew.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Night Shift

I was talking with a friend recently, and the conversation drifted to the topic of circadian rhythms, shift work, and the need for sufficient rest. All of this, in turn, called to my sometimes irreverent mind the following unrelated yet curiously parallel texts:

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Office of Compline in The Book of Common Prayer (p. 134):

Hello there, buddy on the nightshift. I hope you slept all day
Until the moon came out and woke you up and sent you on your way.
Hello there, buddy on the nightshift. I hope you're feeling fine.
I left a lot of work for you to do on a long assembly line.
I wish I knew you better, but you never go my way,
For when one of us goes on the job, the other hits the hay.
Goodbye now, buddy on the nightshift, and push those planes along,
And when the sun comes out, I'll take your place, all wide awake and strong.
I'll follow you, you'll follow me, and how can we go wrong?
Words by Oscar Hammerstein II (set to the music of Kurt Weill)

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