A Hymn for St Catharine’s

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge for their vision and commitment to empowering young women through music (specifically, by means of their girls’ choir) which has enabled my daughter to have a first rate musical education and experience some things that I never had the chance to do at her age (or indeed ever!).
Here’s what I wrote for the College’s Commemoration of Benefactors service today. At the Director of Music’s request, the tune is chorale Schmucke Dich (usually sung to the words, Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness).

Solemn notes of tribute sounded:
Gratitude and celebration.
By such history surrounded:
Legacy of inspiration.
From that ground new growth is springing,
From those songs new voices singing;
Through each passing generation
Still our hope in God is founded.

All our life in wisdom growing,
God’s good purposes discerning;
Words and deeds of virtue flowing
Through the sacred gift of learning.
When the world seems lost to violence
Hope and love must break their silence,
Grace in human nature turning
To the truths that are worth knowing.

Blessings for our lifetime, lending
Grace for work and love and leisure,
Gladly spent, and gladly spending
all to find our heart’s true treasure.
Choice and chance unfold each story,
May our lives reflect God’s glory,
Then when time complete’s life’s measure
We may know a perfect ending.

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