Wind Chimes: 20 Dec 2012

If the chimes were an orchestra they might sound like this today. Surely the sounds in the chimes are sounds of loss and grief but also of yearning and hope. What do you hear?

As longs the deer for cooling streams
in parched and barren ways,
so longs my soul, O God, for thee
and thy refreshing grace.

For thee, my God, the living God,
my thirsty soul doth pine:
O when shall I behold thy face,
thou majesty divine?

Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Hope still, and thou shalt sing
the praise of him who is thy God,
thy health’s eternal spring.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory as it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.

Hymn based on Psalm 42 | Source: Hymn 658 in Hymnal 1982 (Episcopal) on Hymnary.org

“Pray the O Antiphons” an invitation from Joan Chittister

The “O Antiphons,” one of the oldest liturgical rituals in the church, are prayed around the world during the final days of Advent. For the seven days before Christmas, we recall in these prayers a quality of Christ that must be realized before the presence of Christ can consume the world.

(December 20) O Key of David

We are called to the kind of Christian commitment that opens doors and breaks down barriers between people, that brings unity to a divided world. Try to unlock one door that is keeping someone locked out of your heart. — Joan D. Chittister, OSB

Prayer: O Key of David, rod and staff of the house of Israel, one who opens and no one closes, the one who closes and no one opens. Come lead prisoners caught in darkness

Pray the O Antiphons with Sister Joan and others
(it’s not too late ~dan)
O Antiphons

Links to online Advent Calendars

Even in tragedy, Advent continues. Perhaps this event will demand that we better incorporate the Advent spirituality into our daily lives. ~dan

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.” Find one that helps you focus on God as you make your way into the loving arms of God.

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

 

I am the bread of life

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus (John 6:35)

These words are the inspiration of the hymn “I am the bread of life” by Suzanne Toolan, RSM (Hymn 335 in our 1982 Episcopal Hymnal). The original wording has often been adapted to be more inclusive—even as Jesus was inclusive. Here is one arrangement of this hymn as you prepare for (or celebrate) Sunday’s Gospel text, John 6:24-35.

What a great gift we have been given. We will never exhaust the mystery of Emmanuel: God with us.

Look Father, look on his anointed face

In the Sunday Forum (10/16/11) we talked about the glory of God in the face of God; glory beyond human capacity to assimilate. Mose could only see the backside of God and live (Exodus 33:20-23). David remembered a hymn in which we sing our prayer to God to see the face of Christ when looking upon us (see verse 2). Glory looking upon Glory. Isn’t that a prayer worth singing?

And now, O Father, mindful of the love
that bought us, once for all, on Calvary’s tree,
and having with us him that pleads above,
we here present, we here spread forth to thee,
that only offering perfect in thine eyes,
the one true, pure, immortal sacrifice.

Look Father, look on his anointed face,
and only look on us as found in him;
look not on our misusings of thy grace,
our prayer so languid, and our faith so dim:
for lo! between our sins and their reward,
we set the passion of thy Son our Lord.

And then for those, our dearest and our best,
by this prevailing presence we appeal;
O fold them closer to thy mercyís breast!
O do thine utmost for their soulís true weal!
From tainting mischief keep them pure and clear,
and crown thy gifts with strength to persevere.

And so we come; O draw us to thy feet,
most patient Savior, who canst love us still!
And by this food, so awesome and so sweet,
deliver us from every touch of ill:
in thine own service make us glad and free,
and grant us nevermore to part from thee.

Words: William Bright (1824–1901), alt.
Music: Unde et memores, William Henry Monk (1823–1889)

This is Hymn 337 in the Hymnal 1982 of the Episcopal Church. Lately we have talked a lot about hymns and their role in shaping and defining and encouraging our faith; check these out:

Please continue the conversation begun on Sunday by leaving a comment to share. We welcome your responses.

Then sings my soul …

Over the past several weeks we have talked about music in the Sunday Morning Forum. We have shared how words and music combined in hymns to thrill us, inform us, inspire us, encourage us, and so much more. In the Forum and in this blog I’ll continue to share your musical insights.

Richard wrote to me “It’s true there is a huge amount of power in music. I have several favorites. My first choice would have to be “How Great Thou Art”. When ever I hear it I feel completely at one with the Universe and it’s celebration which never ends.” How Great Thou Art is in our Episcopal hymnal Lift Every Voice and Sing II (No. 60)

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Send him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God how great thou art.

Words: Stuart K. Hine (b. 1899)
Music: Swedish Folk Melod; arr. Stuart K. Hine

Keep sharing your favorites (add a little note about why) and we’ll keep this conversation going. The Spirit is singing now!

Can we by searching find out God or formulate his ways?

Paul exclaimed, “I want to know Christ…” (Philippians 3:10). On Sunday 10/2/2011 we explored this statement in our Sunday Morning Forum. “How do YOU know Christ? Where have YOU encountered Christ?” were among the questions we asked, sharing our answers around the table.

Once again, music was mentioned, specifically hymns used in worship, as a place of encounter and inspiration and knowledge. Bill shared one of his favorites, which happens to follow our readings from Philippians pretty closely: “Can we by searching find out God or formulate his ways?” which Hymn 476 in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal.

Here are the lyrics

Can we by searching find out God
or formulate his ways?
Can numbers measure what he is
or words contain his praise?

Although his being is too bright
for human eyes to scan,
his meaning lights our shadowed world
through Christ, the Son of Man.

Our boastfulness is turned to shame,
our profit counts as loss,
when earthly values stand beside
the manger and the cross.

There God breaks in upon our search,
makes birth and death his own;
he speaks to us in human terms
to make his glory known. [1]

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying. Share your favorite hymn of encounter, inspiration, encouragement, or knowledge by leaving a reply and continuing the Sunday conversation here.

____________
[1] Words: Elizabeth Cosnett (b. 1936), alt.
Music: Epworth, melody att. Charles Wesley (1757–1834), alt.; harm. Martin Fallas Shaw (1875–1958), alt.

Words or music? Music or words?

Sometimes the melody is all it takes to move my heart into the heart of God (or God’s heart into mine). Though I love to sing the words of this hymn and make them real by my actions, it is the melody which both embraces me and sends me heavenward.

Continuing the conversation begun on Sunday (9/25) “Be thou my vision” is the song I share today:

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
all else be nought to me, save that thou art;
thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou my great Father; thine own may I be;
thou in me dwelling, and I one with thee.

High King of heaven, when victory is won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Hymn 488 in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982

Words: Irish, ca. 700; versified Mary Elizabeth Byrne (1880–1931); tr. Eleanor H. Hull (1860–1935), alt.

Music: Slane, Irish ballad melody; adapt. The Church Hymnary, 1927; harm. David Evans (1874–1948)