Do not be overwhelmed…

I don’t often write music, but yesterday I sat down and wrote this very short setting of one of my favourite texts, which I believe is from the Talmud:

Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the world’s grief:
walk humbly now, love mercy now, do justly now.
You are not expected to complete the work
but neither are you free to abandon it.

You can listen to a computer generated audio of the music
and click below to download the sheet music.

Christmas things

Now it’s almost advent, here are some Christmassy things (NB see also my other post on Advent things) that might be useful. Sorry it’s a bit of a jumble of things all together. Please do feel free to use any of the pictures in any way that’s helpful. I’ve marked whether the words can just be used freely or if they need to go on your CCLI return.

Could be any shed, really
This is Mary and Joseph, just after Joseph wakes up from the dream in which the angel tells him they have to leave everything and run to Egypt.
Another family at Holy Innocents
Another mother at Holy Innocents
image
image
image
Flight into Egypt

Some more clipart-y images:

advent wreath
annunciation
angel choir
christingle
euch-angels
euch-nativity
mother and child

people in church doorway
praying
DSC_1392
candle clipart

A simple Christmas carol to the tune of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy:

Little baby, sweetly slumbering,
Cradled and cuddled in Mary’s loving arms.
In the sky are angels gathering,
but for now, here below, all is still and calm.

Little baby, our Emmanuel,
God with us, one of us, born to be our king.
Little baby, while you slumber,
Far above you angels sing.

We know you came to save us all…
But how can God become so small…?
For God so loved all he had made
He sent his Son the world to save……

Little baby…

An easy Christmas song for children to sing
The tune is ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’.

Sing of the time the angel came, the angel came, the angel came,
Sing of the time the angel came to bring the news to Mary.

Sing of the birth at Bethlehem, at Bethlehem, at Bethlehem,
Sing of the birth at Bethlehem, the baby in the stable.

Sing of shepherds from the hills, from the hills, from the hills,
Sing of the shepherds from the hills, who came to worship Jesus.

Sing of the brightly shining star, the shining star, the shining star,
Sing of the brightly shining star, that led the kings to Jesus.

Sing of the love of God on earth, God on earth, God on earth,
Sing of the love of God on earth, that brings us close to heaven.

Star of wonder (Tune: Sing Hosanna) – Christingle song for Epiphany

We give gold for a king, keep us serving,
We give gold for a king today,
As we give, it is Christ we are serving,
We’ll keep serving Jesus every day.

Star of wonder! Lead us onwards,
Show the way to find the world’s true light.
Star of wonder! Lead us onwards,
Shine around us through the night.

We bring incense today, keep us praying,
We bring incense to him today.
For the needs of the world, keep us praying.
Keep us praying to him every day.

Star of wonder…

We bring myrrh to remember his passion,
As he shared in his people’s pain,
In our lives we will show his compassion,
As we live for Jesus every day.

Star of wonder…

The easiest paper nativity scene ever – instructions and template

And a couple of links to things I’ve come up with for Christingle: 

The original ‘Sparkly Christingle Talk’ (the one with the iron powder)

How to make a Christingle: some prayerful reflections

Looking slightly further ahead: 

The Epiphany Game

A Very Simple Epiphany Song (to the tune of Sing Hosanna)

A hymn about light (that might do for Epiphany if you really squint)

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Simple version of the traditional spiritual, with thanks to my son for recording, editing, and mastering the audio, and for producing the video. Please feel free to use it in your digital worship (if you use it on Good Friday you may wish to pause it before the last verse).

Dark is the night

A hymn for Passiontide to Easter Eve 2020, as a contribution to ‘words for difficult times’.
(Tune: Eventide, aka Abide with me)

Here is a video of the hymn, with me singing and my son recording and producing it:

And the text for those using screen readers:

Dark is the night, the passing hours are long,
Lone voices whisper sorrow’s silent song,
Each faltering prayer will fear it’s made in vain,
When will we sing the world to life again?

Dark is the night; not all are blessed with sleep.
Some wake and work, and some must watch and weep:
Angels disguised, they tend a world in pain,
Off’ring the hope that there’ll be life again.

Dark is the night, the silent hours are slow,
Heav’n’s tears anoint the suffering earth below,
Blessing with dew the secret springing grain,
Pledge that the world will soon know life again.

Hymn: Christ the eternal priest

I was asked to write a hymn, to the tune ‘Kingsfold’, on the theme of ‘Christ the eternal priest’, for a friend’s first mass. Here it is!  (I cheated slightly in that the last four lines are from another hymn I wrote earlier – if I can think of another ending I’ll replace them one day!)

O Christ, our Shepherd, brother, friend,
O Prophet, Priest and King,
Our Lord, our Way, our Truth, our Life,
It is for you we sing:
Accept this sacrifice of praise
from voice and heart and soul,
For only in your Love, dear Lord,
can we be truly whole.

“A priest for ever you shall be
Enthroned in heav’n above.”
Yet still we know on earth below
The blessings of your love.
You did not cling to heav’nly bliss
but chose to share our pain,
Your life and death and rising still
draws earth to heav’n again.

One sacrifice, made once for all
on Calvary’s blessèd tree,
You stooped to lift up all who fall,
were bound to set us free.
And still through you we make our prayers
and know that we are heard,
For you have opened heaven’s gate,
O loving, living Word.

Make us your holy people, Lord,
in this and every place,
that we, through word and sacrament
may know your saving grace.
You call us here as servants, guests,
as sisters, brothers, friends:
to gather and be richly blessed.
with life that never ends.