Where everybody knows your name

By From the Heart | Aaron Carpenter | Lyrical Reflections

Aug 06

Making your way in the world today

Takes everything you got

Taking a break from all your worries

It sure would help a lot

Wouldn’t you like to get away?


Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name

And they’re always glad you came

You want to be where you can see

The troubles are all the same

You want to be where everybody knows your name


You want to go where people know

The people are all the same

You want to go where everybody knows your name


“Where Everybody Knows Your Name”, lyrics by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo. © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Recently, Netflix began streaming Cheers! How wonderful! I can now relive my childhood with my children, although, for some odd reason, they do not seem so intrigued by the characters and plot of this classic sitcom.

As a musician, however, I do not want to blog you down with detailed discussion about character development and such. Instead, I want to take a look at one of the most recognizable theme songs ever composed. I know, you are already humming the song to yourself and probably annoying a co-worker or family member – sorry, not sorry. I want to take these lyrics out of context and apply them to our faith communities gathering week in and week out to offer thanks and praise to our one, true God.

Just read through the first five lines of these lyrics…(waiting)…

When I read them, I think, “gee, there is a place!” Can we not find this place in the midst of the community with whom we gather weekly? Jesus invites us to come and put our burdens aside. Take a break from all that is weighing us down. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Who wouldn’t want to get away? But, do we accept this invitation from our Savior? Do we allow, Christ, found in others in our lives, to help lift our burdens? What would it take for us to do this?

I find that it is much easier in the context of the six lines that follow in this theme song. Go ahead, read it…(waiting, again)…do you see it? The following lines imagine a place where we can come and be known by those around us. Where our neighbor or fellow journeyer is “always glad” we are with them where we can see our “troubles are all the same.” This is our faith community. We should dream of a worshiping community where we know everyone around us – by name. Where, we are not just glad they came, but we miss them when they’re gone. This is a community of which I want to belong.

We gather each week. We all have burdens that need to be lifted. We all desire a moment when we can let go of what is heavy and just rest. Rest knowing that everyone around us has their burdens, too. Where we are not alone on this journey of faith, sometimes lost, sometimes filled, and sometimes overflowing with a love that comes from God, that is to be shared with those we encounter and with whom we enter into relationship.

Do you want to “go where people know”? Where “the people are all the same”? Do “you want to go where everybody knows your name”? Let’s make our communities of faith just this – a place of compassion, of love, of friendship, of common journeyers; a place where “everybody knows” our name!

In our baptism, we were given a name. Let us call one another by our names so that we can better enter into relationship with one another. When you see someone you don’t know this weekend, just find one person, go out of your way to introduce yourself and find out who they are, so that next week, you can call them by name and they will know you are glad they came!


Aaron Carpenter is the Director of Worship for the Diocese of Saint Cloud. Aaron has ministered in liturgy and music for almost 30 years, serving parishes in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.

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(1) comment

Jean Ceithaml August 6, 2018

LOVE IT!!! If only everyone in the Assembly were accepting of this we would all be in heaven on earth.

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