A Message of Evangelization in an Old Spiritual

The video below is of a performance of the traditional African-American spiritual “Children Go Where I Send Thee.”

It is a “cumulative song” in that each verse builds on the prior one (like “The 12 Days of Christmas”). The children’s choir in my parish recently sang it to great effect.

Although there are many variations in the verses, the ones below are the most clearly biblical and liturgical. There is a catechetical purpose to the spiritual, and it presents basic teachings in a memorable way:

Children go where I send Thee.
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee one by one
One for the little bitty baby
born by the Virgin Mary
Born in Bethlehem!

Children go where I send Thee.
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee two by two
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty baby
born by the Virgin Mary
Born in Bethlehem!

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty baby . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Four for the four that knock on the door (Four Evangelists) . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Five for the bread they did divide . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Six for the days when the world was fixed . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Seven for the seven that lead to Heaven (Seven Sacraments) . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Eight for the eight that the flood couldn’t take . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Nine for the angel choirs divine . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Ten for the Ten Commandments . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Eleven for them who saw him ascend . . .

Children go where I send Thee . . .
Twelve for the Twelve Apostles . . .

Enjoy the song:

Cross-posted at the Catholic Standard: A Message of Evangelization in an Old Spiritual

One Reply to “A Message of Evangelization in an Old Spiritual”

  1. Amen. Professing children of God, go, evangelize, join the hierarchy of the Church and the communion of saints in fulfilling the Geat Commission.

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