Saturday, 17 June 2017

IN RESPONSE TO THE GRENFELL TOWER FIRE

Through a glass darkly the smoke is obscuring 
flames that are burning – hell come upon earth; 
hell made by hands with a human intention – 
housing? entrapment? a prison of death?

People of all faiths cry out in their anguish, 
horror and anger inflamed by their grief; 
others reach out through the fierce conflagration, 
risking their lives just to offer relief.

This is salvation in practical action, 
not some theology – heartless – obscure; 
hands reaching out like the strong hands of Jesus, 
offering love, but can hope be secure?
© Andrew Pratt 15/6/2017

Sunday, 4 June 2017

In response to violence and terrorism in our cities

Hopeless to help in the face of catastrophe,
helpless while watching this picture unfold,
see history repeating with such regularity,
innocents injured while violence takes hold.

Where is the love when our cities are targeted,
common humanity shattered or lost?
How can we love when such hatred is harvested,
offering grace while not counting the cost?

Stir up compassion to heal our communities,
love reaching deep to the centre of loss,
meeting each neighbour in horror and fearfulness,
draw us together through comfort and cross.
© Andrew Pratt 4/6/2017

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

Friday, 9 December 2016

BENEFITS SANCTIONS HYMN

We hear of people sanctioned,
made poor by bad intent,
for selfishness is ruling
infecting government;
we see the children suffer
while parents are distressed,
what is there we can offer,
our nation seems bereft?

How can we counter hatred,
for this is what it seems,
when those with little favour
have even lost their dreams?
Their hope has been diminished,
their future filled with dread
while words of Christian kindness
seem wizened, shrivelled, dead.

Christ called to loving action:
to stand beside the poor,
to challenge each injustice
to keep an open door;
but politics has trampled
the love that he would share
and grace will come to nothing
if we just stand and stare.
© Andrew Pratt 8/12/2016
Tune: AURELIA
Posted in the blog of Church Action on poverty at https://blog.church-poverty.org.uk/2016/12/09/rethink-sanctions-a-hymn/

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

Friday, 9 September 2016

Syria hymn

When the weeping of the nations
fills our hearts with holy dread,
when a devastated city
cannot bury all its dead,
God is in the conflagration,
crying where our children bled.

Dust will settle on the dying
cradled in a mother’s arms,
fearful faces meet the camera
knowing human hatred harms,
knowing only humane kindness
brings the peace that heals, disarms.

God remove our warring blindness,
give us grace that we might see
through the mists of mortal malice
how we fuel life’s agony,
how inaction, sullen silence,
marks our own complicity.
© Andrew Pratt 9/9/2016
Tune: GRAFTON or PICARDY

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

Friday, 19 August 2016

Hymn - boy in the ambulance - A bloodied child - Syria

A bloodied child foreshadowed by a cross,
both share their taste of evil and of loss,
and when will people ever live and learn
that hurt and harm is all that war can earn?

We hold our breath in horror as we view
this scene forever old, forever new;
amid the dust and rubble strewn around
a child cries out and parents can’t be found.

How long, O Lord we cry, each hollow word,
our pleas of peace increasingly absurd?
Good God, forgive us when inaction’s voice
speaks loudly of our violent, hurtful choice.
© Andrew Pratt 18/8/2016
Tune: EVENTIDE (Monk)
The boy in the ambulance: five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, Syria August 2016.


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

Friday, 5 August 2016

In memory of a Priest killed in Rouen

In every sanctuary of grace
where worship lives, where love is found,
where shaken images are sharp
and faith grows still in fertile ground;
here those who lead, whom God has led,
now wait in fear, a priest is dead.

The faith of those who worship God,
is not in question, still we wait,
while scripture says love casts out fear,
yet death can breed a sense of hate.
And so we wait and so we pray
for dawn to light a better day.
© Andrew Pratt 4/8/2016
A priest killed in Rouen, 26th July, 2016.

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

Monday, 7 March 2016

HYMN, SONG, SOCIETY - a new publication


Singing hymns constructs a sense of community which connects traditions with today’s world. This is stated in the publication Hymn, Song, Society of the Church Research Institute, issued on 3.3.2016. The title covers the meaning of hymns in the church and society, the contents of hymnals in various countries, and experiences related to spiritual songs. The book is compiled of ten academic articles written mainly by Nordic researchers of hymns and spiritual songs.

Singing hymns constructs a sense of community which connects traditions with today’s world. This is stated in the publication Hymn, Song, Society of the Church Research Institute, issued on 3.3.2016. The title covers the meaning of hymns in the church and society, the contents of hymnals in various countries, and experiences related to spiritual songs. The book is compiled of ten academic articles written mainly by Nordic researchers of hymns and spiritual songs.The findings in Hymn, Song, Society also imply that hymns and spiritual songs do not live only in churches and religious denominations. Their role in the religious and societal context has been significant even before Christianity, and their impact prevails.

− During centuries, the use and meaning of hymns has been transformed and renewed. In order to let this development continue, the lyrics and the music have to communicate both with the original context and the world of today, states Andrew Pratt, a British researcher and lyricist, one of the writers of the title.


Please feel free to distribute the news link also forward via your personal networks, Best

Pekka Rautio
tiedottaja, Public relations officer

Teologinen tiedekunta, Faculty of Theology PL 4 (Vuorikatu 3)

00014 Helsingin yliopisto, University of Helsinki