Friday, 5 January 2018

Poem/Hymn after Tennyson at the turning of the year for a country and a world that seems anything but Christian.


1 Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
the flying cloud, the frosty light:
the year is dying in the night;
ring out, wild bells, and let it die.

2 Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
for those that here we see no more;
ring out the feud of rich and poor,
ring in redress for humankind.

3 Ring out each slowly dying cause,
archaic forms of party strife;
Ring in a new regard for life,
with open borders, fairer laws.

4 Ring out false pride in birth and creed,
the civic slander and the spite;
ring in the love of truth and right
ring in the end of human need.

5 Ring out the curse of poverty.
Ring out the grasping lust of wealth.
Ring out those things that harm our health,
Ring out old wars, bring unity.

6 Ring in a time when all are free,
a time when none will fear to stand
when all are welcome in this land.
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) alt. Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
© Stainer & Bell Ltd
These words may be used freely locally if you have a CCl License and include it on your return.

Friday, 22 December 2017

IN EVERY FACE THAT STARES OUT FROM THE MANGER - Incarnation now - hymn

In every face that stares out from the manger,
each person bears the image of our God,
in Christ is human flesh affirmed and honoured,
for God has walked where human feet have trod.

In every face of youth, of age, each baby,
uplifted by the earth life of the Christ:
the stable bed, the cross of common torture,
marked off his life, these markers once sufficed.

And this we show, when we live incarnation,
to make God's presence real for humankind,
the wine we drink, the bread so freely broken
speak of the love of God so richly mined.

And those who live and suffer in this moment,
the dispossessed, oppressed throughout the earth,
are raised beyond frustration and existence,
to know, in living, their uncommon worth.
© Andrew Pratt 28/11/2011
Tunes: O PERFECT LOVE or INTERCESSOR
Please include on CCL returns if you have one.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

CHRISTMAS HYMN - AN UNMARRIED MOTHER GAVE BIRTH IN A STABLE

An unmarried mother gave birth in a stable,
some saw a fulfilment of all they had heard,
to others this story, the birth of the Godhead,
was more than amazing, was frankly absurd.

Some delved into scripture and said that a virgin,
was destined to carry a child who would grow
to be a Messiah, salvation for nations,
and others would question how history could know.

So back to the story, now Bethlehem beckons,
a carpenter-pawn come to sign for the state,
the bureaucrats needing a list for taxation
and everyone hurries before it’s too late.

A legend would grow up of shepherds and magi,
no snow at this Christmas beneath a night’s sky.
A man who would die as a crucified preacher
was born with sparse shelter as people passed by.

And so came the story of birth in a stable,
of Bethlehem’s journey, a virgin and child.
And lost is the essence, the mystery and wonder,
of God born among us abused and reviled.

Much later a soldier saw God in this prophet
a man  who would love to his very last breath
the dying, the hopeless, those outside religion,
and all those beside who had shared in his death.
Andrew Pratt 22/11/2017
© Stainer & Bell Ltd.


HYMNS POSTED ON THIS BLOG MAY BE USED FREELY LOCALLY WITH WITH A CCL RETURN.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Two stars collide - Hymn

Two stars collide, but love is not diminished,
while ripples thunder out through time and space,
the universe has shuddered down the centuries,
but nothing will unsettle given grace.

We look into the void, detect the difference
where gravity, disrupted, ripples on.
Our understanding, stressed through awe and wonder,
can count again the knowledge that’s been won.

Yet wisdom is much more than calculation,
than observations grounded on this earth,
we reach out through a mystery that surrounds us,
toward the source that brought us all to birth.
© Andrew Pratt 16/10/2017 after the detection of gravitational waves caused by the collision to two neutron stars.
Tune: INTERCESSOR

Friday, 29 September 2017

Universal Credit? - a hymn

When clothing or shelter are absent or wanting,
as life becomes difficult, living is raw,
the need of a benefit, now becomes urgent,
yet often delayed and the poor remain poor.

Then how do we see this, as something we beg for?
A love gift assuaging the lack that we feel?
A present disguising our guilt and collusion,
as choices are made, and divisions are real?

But how can we live with such sharp separation,
our frail understanding of how others live?
And what is our charity, depth of our loving,
a sign of our sacrifice, what we can give?

For only when margins can meet at the centre,
when people in honesty walk hand in hand,
when clichés like ‘fairness’ and ‘being together’,
have met with extinction, will love fill this land.
© Andrew Pratt 28/9/2017. Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO

HYMNS POSTED ON THIS BLOG MAY BE USED FREELY LOCALLY WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. TO PUBLISH FOR PROFIT PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR.