St. Vincent Carmel Chaplain Writes Song for Chapel Dedication

YOU HOLD OUR HEARTS by Chaplain Carey Landry
We give thanks for all you have gifted with your wisdom, compassion and skill.
As you guide our hands to bring healing and hope, May we always seek to do your will.
In this new space for prayer and worship, may we come to receive Your Light;
Then may we be lights of love to the hearts of those we serve, knowing we are ever in your sight.

Copyright © 2017 by Carey Landry. All rights reserved.

St.Vincent Carmel Chaplain Carey Landry has been writing music for the Church since 1967 and experienced his first Folk Mass while attending seminary in Washington, DC. After an evening Mass in 1969, Ethel Kennedy came up to him and asked if he would lead the music for a Mass remembering the first anniversary of Robert Kennedy's assassination. He gathered 60 young people to sing in a choir and remembered the night in Arlington National Cemetery when hundreds of mourners came down the hill toward John and Robert Kennedy's graves, carrying candles and singing "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Music remains a part of Carey's healing ministry to this day as he walks the halls of St.Vincent Carmel, meeting and praying with patients throughout the hospital, in the ICU, and especially with Bariatric patients. “The Holy Spirit, at work in those moments, has also led me to write songs out of my experiences as a chaplain,” said Carey. It is in the silence and quiet of prayer and reflection that songs like “Hail Mary: Gentle Woman,” “Abba, Father,” “I Will Never Forget You,” and “Only A Shadow” (to name only a few) have been born.

To celebrate the Feb. 2 dedication of St. Vincent Heart Center’s newly renovated Chapel, Carey was inspired to compose a new song when he saw a photo of the chapel’s stained glass window, which is now directly behind the altar. “The window had not yet been installed, but I saw the hands of God holding a heart with a stethoscope encircling it,” he said. “Almost immediately I thought of the words, ‘You hold our hearts, O God,’” which became the song’s title.

The stained glass was designed to incorporate elements of the Heart Center – compassionate hearts, caring hands, physician-led, and holistic care. The artist also captured images from stained glass in chapels that St. Vincent de Paul preached in Chatillion, France, in the 17th century.

As Carey began to write the song, the refrain came almost immediately, for God is a God of true compassion, who holds our hearts in love beyond compare, and who is ultimately our healer and our hope. “God speaks in many ways as we listen in prayer,” said Carey. “One of the most consistent ways God has spoken to me is through music.”