Hymn #581: Lead Us from Death to Life

Satish Kumar (dates unknown), a Jain monk, based the poem that serves as the refrain of this hymn on passages from the Hindu scriptures known as the Upanishads.  This “World Peace Prayer” has been widely circulated by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which asks that it be prayed daily at noon.

Marty Haugen (b. 1950) created the three stanzas of this hymn in 1985 while living at Holden Village Retreat Center Community in Chelan, Washington, as composer-in-residence.  His stanzas continue the prayer of the refrain, petitioning God to show humankind the “way of compassion.”

Marty Haugen composed the tune WORLD PEACE PRAYER in 1983, incorporating one of the world’s oldest prayers and his own stanzas.  The World Peace Prayer of the refrain’s text, was adapted from the Upanishads, Hindu scriptures probably written between 400 and 200 B.C.E.

Marty Haugen is a liturgical composer, workshop presenter, teacher, author, and recording artist, who works from his home in Eagan, Minnesota.  He has recorded sixteen collections of music and published more than two hundred compositions, including Mass of Remembrance and Mass of Creation.