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One Body of Christ  – rising up together

The Catholic News (CN) features some of our Catholic composers of hymns, and songs of praise and worship to find out how their creations were inspired. CN hopes this will generate awareness of the persons contributing to the liturgy and providing form to our many expressions of fidelity, love, thanks, gratitude to God.

Kevin Millien has been writing songs for over 20 years. He estimates about 15 or 20 of his compositions may be heard in church in the form of hymns, affirmations or other “parts of the Mass” but there are many others.

Millien’s repertoire goes beyond music for Mass, and he has done other songs which  are “rooted in scripture”.

It was Liturgy School that got him started. He was interested in music from young and began attending the School, at Mt St Benedict, from the age of 14 as a parishioner of the St Charles RC Church, Tunapuna.

“I was attracted by what was being offered at the Liturgy School, which was a composing workshop, anything dealing with the liturgy, but one aspect was music composition. That started me and it was Bro Paschal’s [Jordan OSB] inspiration at that workshop that fired my imagination.”

That was more than 30 years ago. He was one of the youngest participants attending Liturgy School.

Millien explains the song ‘One Body of Christ’ came out of a request for compositions for the 1997 Eucharistic Congress. “We were given a sort of theme and readings to work with, one of which I was looking at was from 1 Corinthians 10:15–18 which describes that, one Body of Christ…”

It took 33-year-old Millien one week to pen something based on the scripture.  Part of his process was imagining the varied members of the congregation singing.

“People in church, young, old, fat, skinny, whatever, whatever disposition we held, we all belong to the same body of Christ,” he said.

Most of his songs are written for congregational singing. He scored the music for the song, recalling this was one of the requirements for submissions of music for the Congress.

Asked how he felt about hearing the song performed for the first time at the Congress, Millien said the song was always for Church so after submitting, he let it go. “If it was accepted fine, if it wasn’t, fine; it was just an idea coming from me from prayer, the Holy Spirit.”

Millien had several other pieces used at the Mass prior to ‘One Body of Christ’.

“Sometimes you do these things, and you listen to them, and you hear people singing them, and I am being brutally honest, sometimes you don’t even feel you do it…. I don’t really put too much credence into me, and ‘I did it’…at the end of the day it is a song to be used in praise, in worship.”

‘One Body of Christ’ is special to Millien because of what it means. He says that as society is made up of all kinds of people, so is the Church, and because of this there will be discord and disagreements.

He noted that this is not new as the Bible shows. “The cement in all this is really the Body of Christ in the sacrifice; and we recognise that, no matter where we are.”

People sometimes have a negative opinion about the Church because of different issues. Millien’s response is: “If the Church is so bad, well then stay and help it. That has always been my philosophy…where am I going? I have experienced God and Jesus Christ through the Church, where am I running?”.

He adds, “It is a matter of the Body of Christ rising up together despite our disagreements, despite all we go through, at the end of the day, love prevails, love conquers at the end of the day, move in love.”

Although ‘One Body of Christ’ is performed one way, Millien says there are multiple rhythms which can be interpreted in varied genres. “While you have the same metre, tempo running, the style changes from chorus to verse, making the song attractive,” he says.

Millien has met young composers who are afraid to submit their work. While there is the possibility of non-acceptance, he advises them: “It will go where it is supposed to go or it will stay with you…if it is a work of prayer, of the Holy Spirit, it is not a vaps thing that you get a wild idea and throw it out there. If it is inspired and channelled through you, let it go.”


One Body of Christ

By Kevin Millien


We Share in His life, we share in His love, one body of Christ

Washed in His blood the blood of the Lamb, His body alive

Reunited in love, bonded by his sacrifice

Living as one, caring as one body of Christ.


Though we are many, there’s room at His table

He blesses us equally, sharing His body and blood (CH)

Vs 2

We are His people, the work of His hands,

building the Kingdom each day, Jesus showing the way (CH)

Vs 3

This is my body broken for you, I give of myself for love

The Father’s heart is pleased (CH)

Vs 4 (variation)

Do this in memory of me

A sign of my love, a sign of our unity