Question regarding words in a hymn


The following hymn is often sung in our parish. Someone asked me if the words “Symbol of your love” is stating that the bread is a symbol only of Jesus and is it in contradiction to the True Presence. This hymn is from the Celebrational Hymnal for Everyone.

Any comments?

With many thanks in advance.


***Bread, blessed and broken *(© CHE – 334)[/LEFT][/LEFT]
Jesus, you’re the one I love;
You’re the one I know.
You’re the one who makes me strong,
Spirit in my soul.
From the clouds of yesterday,
Through the night of pain,
Teach me, Lord, to know your way,
Know it once again.

Bread, blessed and broken for us all,
Symbol of your love*** from the grain so tall.***
Bread, blessed and broken for us all,
Bread of life you give to us,
Bread of life for all.
(last time – softly):
***Jesus, you’re the one I love, ***
you’re the one I know.
You’re the one who makes me strong, Spirit in my soul.

May the bread we break today,
May the cup we share
Lift the burdens of our hearts,
Lift them everywhere.
Passing on to each of us
A measure of your love,
Love to make us whole again,
as we share your Word.


First, imho it's extremely corny. Change some words and you have a country ballad.

Second, it seems questionable in intent.


The word symbol can mean more than one thing. Maybe it means a sign of Your love, Some of the songs they sing in Church today do leave a lot to be desired. God Bless, Memaw


The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is a symbol of God's love for us, along with the redeeming act. The Eucharist is a participation in that sacrifice. So, the Eucharist too is a symbol of God's love for us as the Real Presence of Christ exists within.


[quote="Memaw, post:3, topic:337202"]
The word symbol can mean more than one thing. Maybe it means a sign of Your love, Some of the songs they sing in Church today do leave a lot to be desired. God Bless, Memaw


Yes, and I was not particularly sure of the meaning here.


And remember, the bread and wine are still symbols. It doesnt mean Jesus does not become fully there, hidden within these symbols. They are symbols of His work through us (wheat bread) and our joy and celebration in Him (wine). This is true Love,…God with us.


Baltimore Catechism says ...."A Sacrament is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace."

"an outward sign", means it's something physical too, not just spiritual. We can see, touch, taste, smell, and hear the Eucharist. When we see Jesus in the Eucharist, that visual image is a symbol of God's Sacrifice for us, and our accepting, and embracing His Sacrifice, by consuming Him. We welcome God into our in most being. :)


This chestnut by Michael Lynch ought to be one of the “interim” period of song compositions that should be retired from OCP and any other hymnals. I won’t name any others of its company.
First of all, as has been said, its artistic merit according to the also retired MCW never achieved a level of utility necessary, much less the Pius criterion of “beautiful.” It is very Landry-esque and puerile. In fact, its only possible defendable use might only be with children in roughly grades 1-3, but it still remains deficient for precisely the reason the OP mentions. To plant the seed of the sacrament as only symbol in young minds will eventually clash (in the 2nd grade 1st Communion prep.) with the reality of the Real Presence. Confusion should not be edified by responsible liturgists/teachers/musicians.
I cannot even conceive of adults being invited to sing this piece. Sorry, Mike.


If this were being sung in a chapel full of orthodox Catholic theologians or monks, I’m sure that they could appreciate the poetic quality of the words, despite the saccharine melody. In a parish setting, however, where many people do not accept or believe in the Real Presence, and would not know the terms “substance” and “accidents,” this sort of music only leads to greater misunderstanding. The fact that OCP still prints this theological poison is the reason why our parish has removed their hymnals from the pews.


I really, really, really liked singing this song. It “spoke” to me of the Eucharist lifting me out of my suffering and giving me strength. That being said…
The purpose of liturgical music is not just to “speak” to me or to entertain me or make me feel good. Its other purpose is to lift my mind and heart to God, to worship God, to praise God in spirit and TRUTH. I am learning, ever so slowly, that it is NOT about ME. It’s about God, His action in creation, His Incarnation, His love and saving acts…

So, in conclusion, I agree with you. As a catechist who prepares children for 1st communion, I do not want them to be in any way confused about the REAL PRESENCE of JESUS in the EUCHARIST.



Could someone please enlighten me - what does OCP stand for?



I think it’s a Co. that produces Hymn Books for Churches.


OCP=Oregon Catholic Press


Thanks Mary_Ellen. I saw this hymn in the Celebrational Hymnal for Everyone which is a UK publication (I’m not in the US). What does OCP have to do with it?



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit