Source of our singing and Perfect Receiver of our offering of song, we rejoice with thanksgiving. All creatures offer praise with rejoicing; all creatures suffer hurt and make plaintive music of their misery. We ask for no single tone of life: we know that tone and time must ever change, sometimes bitter, sometimes serene, but we pray that the sing ing may never end; that bright songs and sad songs may arise from the fountain of our lives all our days. In the first cries of infancy, in the songs of childhood, in the music of our years of strength, and in the voices of our oldest age, we offer our thanksgiving unto You, the Master Singer, the Eternal Music.
John F. Hayward (1918- ) a Unitarian minister, spent most of his career teaching and developing religious studies at universities. His tenure at First Parish in Columbus, Ohio ended sooner than he intended when the University of Chicago Divinity School offered him a faculty position to teach religion and the arts in 1951. Hayward finished his career at Southern Illinois University, where he was professor of philosophy, religion and the arts.