New hymn: you made a universe so full of wonder

Really delighted to have two hymns in the new collection from Jubilate, ‘Hymns for our contemporary world’, which aims to resource churches in responding to some urgent and critical themes in contemporary life but which are not widely addressed in traditional hymnody. The first one has just been released, and explores environmental themes from a political, social and economic perspective. It can be sung to ‘Finlandia’ but has also had a beautiful new tune written especially for it by Peter Burton.
You can watch the lyric video, download the words and sheet music on the Jubilate website.

You made a universe so full of wonder, 
gave us a world to cherish and to hold.
But we have treated it as ours to plunder:
what you gave freely, we have bought and sold.
What you made perfect, we have torn asunder:
do not, O Lord, your healing power withhold.

In generous love, the pattern of your caring,   
we have been blessed with more than we could need.
But we have hoarded what was meant for sharing,
corrupting what you gave as fruitful seed;
and still it is your poorest children bearing
the cost of all our selfishness and greed.

We hear the voice that calls our generation,
the urgent cry of beauty scarred by pain.
Our lives must change in this and every nation
so prayer and action shall not be in vain;
we pledge to live in ways of restoration
until your earth is whole and good again.

Copyright (c) Ally Barrett/Jubilate
(as with all my Jubilate hymns, this is covered by CCLI so will need to go on your annual return).

Eucharistic hymn

This is your body, for your people giv’n,
We break the bread, and voice the sacred song;
Food of the angels, taste of highest heav’n,
crumbs dropped for all who fear we don’t belong:
We are your body, help us dare to share
all that we have, and offer all we are.

This is your blood, the pain that makes us whole
With love was pressed from this live-giving vine,
The smallest sip can warm the coldest soul,
And fill the human heart with fire divine:
We are your body, help us yearn to share
all that we have, and offer all we are.

We are your body, fed with heavenly food,
Washed through the blood that flows with heavenly love,
And then you send us, by that love renewed,
to find that earth is full of heav’n above.
We are your body, in your grace we share
all that we have, and offer all we are.

(Tune: Finlandia)

I wrote this one last month too, and forgot about it. Again, sorry.

A hymn for when things are hard

Lord, in our waiting and watching, we pray
that you would watch with us as night turns to day,
and if morning comes and we still cannot stand,
through every long moment keep holding our hand.

Lord, when our tears do not bring us relief,
You weep at our side in our pain and our grief,
Whenever it seems that we suffer alone,
In life’s hardest moments, Lord, make yourself known.

Lord, in our anger when pain is ignored,
when voices are silenced, experience is scorned,
Sustain us, and raise us to speak and be heard,
and soften hard hearts with the power of your word.

Lord, in our weariness, give us your peace,
the hope that the world’s many troubles will cease,
Then help us to find that in each place of need,
your love is transforming each thought, word and deed.

(Tune: Slane)

I wrote this last month and then forgot about it. Sorry about that. But here it is now.

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.

No hymns

There has been talk of liturgical ways to respond to and reflect on Brexit. It’s hard to know what kind of hymns might be sung communally, with integrity, when we are so deeply divided.

So here are three of the five verses that I wrote to mark 100 years since the armistice, last year. Maybe they’re a start?

Hope for the world’s despair:
we feel the nations’ pain;
can anything repair
this broken earth again?
For this we pray:
in every place
a spark of grace
to light the way.

Wisdom for all who bear
the future in their hand,
entrusted with the care
of this and every land.
When comes the hour,
O Lord, we pray,
inspire the way
we spend our power.

Love for the human heart:
when hate grows from our fears
and inwardly we start
to turn our ploughs to spears.
Help us to sow
love’s precious seed
in word and deed,
that peace may grow.