Trinity Sunday – all age songs?

A friend was lamenting the lack of all age songs suitable for Trinity Sunday (at her church their service will also reflect on the church as a community in which all offer their gifts). If you’re stuck on the same thing, how about one of these:

First, singing in a round is a nice way of matching form and content when thinking about distinction and unity, so how about a round to the tune ‘Frere Jacques’?
Praise the Father, Praise the Father,
Praise the Son, Praise the Son,
Praise the Holy Spirit, Praise the Holy Spirit,
One in three, three in one.

Second, here’s one I made earlier, really based on 1 Corinthians 12. The tune is from the game Tetris, but is actually a Russian folk song.

Everyone here has a part to play as we love and serve the Lord today. Come to Jesus, follow in his way, in all we do and think and say. All are members of one body, building God's community!
Gathering song to the Tetris theme

Bits and bobs for Advent

Here are some bits and pieces that might be useful for Advent. Starting with some pictures, and then some hymns.

line drawing of candle flame
Candle light

word art for the hymn, Hills of the North
Hills of the North

Line drawing of pregnant Mary
Mary

Painting of Mary and Elizabeth, both pregnant
Visitation

Painting of advent wreath
Advent wreath

line drawing of Mary and the Holy Spirit as a dove
Annunciation

 

ADVENT HYMN (would work for late Advent)

Words of the prophets since the world began
So long before salvation’s human birth
Speaking of God’s tremendous loving plan
for heav’n to touch the long-estrangèd earth.

Those ancient words at last began to be
in flesh and skin and bone and blood unfurled
In maiden womb and half-made family –
so heaven stooped to touch a fallen world.

Amongst the stable beasts behind the inn,
the baby’s eyes saw first a mother’s love;
and though their world, like ours, was full of sin,
yet in their gaze the earth met heav’n above.

We cry aloud for peace, goodwill to all,
and for God’s heaven to touch his earth again,
We bend our ears to hear the angels’ call,
and raise our voice to join the great Amen.

 

ADVENT HYMN (tune: Picardy)

Longing for a hope-filled morning,
Kingdom of the Son, draw near!
Waiting for the day soon dawning,
Light of love that casts out fear.
Dayspring, come from heav’n, in lowly birth,
Come to warm this cold, dark earth.

Sorrow through the world is sweeping,
Bitter conflict rages still,
Heaven hears its children weeping:
cost of humankind’s freewill.
Come, O Price* of Peace, in lowly birth,
Come to mend this broken earth.

Pattern of the world’s salvation,
God and human side by side.
Colour, language, creed or nation,
No more should the world divide:
Come, Emmanuel, in lowly birth,
Show how heav’n embraces earth.

*This word started off as a typo, but I quite like it, as it echoes the ‘cost’ of the previous line…  If you use the hymn, you can choose whether to use Price or Prince   And thank you to the lovely Uptonpc for suggesting that Price could stay as an option!

 

ADVENT WREATH SONG
to the tune ‘Father we place into your hands’

Mothers and fathers of the faith, who lived in times of old,
Leaders and judges, kings and queens were faithful, true and bold,
Travelers, heroes, shepherds, all with stories to be told:
Still they show us how to follow you.

Prophets and seers who spoke the truth in answer to your call,
finding new ways to bring your word to people great and small,
living their lives to show your love was meant for one and all,
still they show us how to follow you.

John, in the desert calling out, ‘The Kingdom has come near.’
‘Come and repent, and be baptised, there’s nothing then to fear.’
‘Jesus is coming now, the One you’re waiting for is here.’
Still he shows us how to follow you.

Mother of Jesus, angels called her favoured, full of grace,
Holding the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, in her embrace,
She is the one whose ‘yes’ helped God to save the human race,
still she shows us how to follow you.

And this last verse, for Christmas day, is by my friend and colleague Gill Robertson:

Jesus our Saviour, born a king, we welcome you today,
Lord of all time, Immanuel, with joyful hearts we say:
You are the Christ who came to earth for us; and now we pray,
Help us all to daily follow you.

 

ADVENT WREATH SONG – connecting the Jesse Tree / Salvation History pathways through Advent and the Advent Sunday theme of being alert and ready. (tune: Sing Hosanna)

There’s a story to tell of creation,
And the patriarchs’ faith of old,
There are stories of prophets and sages,
We’ll repeat them ‘til the world’s been told:

Sing together! sing together!
Sing to welcome in the King of Kings.
Sing together! Sing together!
Sing to welcome in the King.

There are stories of sin and forgiveness,
Of a Kingdom of truth and love.
Of a girl who gave birth to a baby,
To fulfil God’s promise from above:

As God’s people prepare for his coming,
And remember those days long gone,
Our own stories are yet to be written,
As we live to make God’s kingdom come:

We will patiently wait for the morning,
Through the night we will watch and pray,
As we look for the light that is dawning,
We’ll be ready at the break of day:

Hymns for a quiet day

It seems like something of a contradiction to hold a quiet day on the theme of hymns, but in case anyone is interested, here are the four addresses that I’ve written for a Friends of Little Gidding quiet day: Little Gidding quiet day addresses. It’s a mixture of George Herbert and other stuff, and some of my own hymns which, in such illustrious company, feel like the beggar invited to the wedding feast and then about to be thrown out for not having the right clothes on!

 

Vocations Sunday hymns

It’s about to be Vocations Sunday (in the C of E, that is).  If you want a new-ish hymn for your service, how about one of these?  They’re all free to use – just help yourself (if you could attribute them to (c) Ally Barrett that would be great, but there’s nothing to pay! 🙂

This first was written for Birmingham Diocese, for the re-launch of their mission strategy document.

Here and now we’re drawn together:
hold us all in one embrace.
Help us see, in one another,
difference as a gift of grace.
As each passing generation
worships you in fresh new ways,
join our songs with all creation,
lift our voice to sing your praise.

Lord, affirm our shared vocation:
may we bring your plans to birth,
build a church on Christ’s foundation,
fit to tend a troubled earth.
Growing, praying, sharing, learning,
deep in wisdom, broad in scope,
love-revealing, truth-discerning,
living out the gospel hope.

In your work of transformation
you are making all things new.
Stir our hearts’ imagination,
call us now to work with you.
As we live the Great Commission
all will find their part to play:
Send us out to share your mission,
joyful in the world today.

(tune: Abbot’s Leigh, or any suitable 8787D trochaic tune)

This one is about Vocation, ministry and mission, and was the first hymn I wrote, in 2006.
Tune: Woodlands
(it’s also in the latest version of Hymns Ancient and Modern)

Hope of our calling: hope through courage won;
By those who dared to share all Christ had done.
Saints of today, Christ’s banner now unfurled,
We bring his gospel to a waiting world.

Hope of our calling: hope with strength empowered,
Inspired by all that we have seen and heard;
This call is ours, for we are chosen too,
To live for God in all we say and do.

Hope of our calling: hope with grace outpoured,
From death’s despair the gift of life restored;
Our call to serve, to wash each others’ feet,
To bring Christ’s healing touch to all we meet.

Hope of our calling: hope by faith made bold;
To sow God’s righteousness throughout the world;
Bring peace from conflict, fruitfulness from weeds,
The kingdom’s harvest from a mustard seed.

Hope of our calling: Spirit-filled, unbound,
Old joys remembered and new purpose found,
Our call refreshed by sacrament and word,
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

This next one was written for the service in York Minster on 17th May 2014, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of women priests in the Church of England – anyone is welcome to use it, though. 
The tune is Londonderry Air.

Glory to God, the mother of creation,
in love you brought the universe to birth,
then gave your life to purchase the salvation
of all the sons and daughters of the earth.
Glory to you, for love that’s shown through history:
the warp and weft that patterns time and space.
By grace you’re known, yet known to be a mystery,
and we can touch eternity in your embrace.

Glory to you for calling us to service,
shepherds and stewards, messengers and priests,
we give ourselves in gratitude and gladness
as guests and hosts at your thanksgiving feast.
Our hearts exult in loving affirmation,
We sing with joy, your greatness we proclaim.
Your praise resounds in every generation,
Our souls with Mary magnify your holy name.

We are united, in Christ’s body dwelling,
one in the Spirit: wind and fire and dove;
one in the grace and hope of every calling,
to lift the ways of earth to heav’n above.
Through all our lives your power is ever flowing,
To show your work of love is underway;
Stir up your gift in us, your grace bestowing,
so we may speak and live your Word afresh today.


Finally, this hymn is based on the Ely Diocese Vision Statement
It was originally written to Guiting Power (Christ Triumphant, ever reigning) but the author of that tune isn’t keen on it being used for other words, so I’m delighted to say that Peter Moger, my friend and mentor, has written this fabulous tune, Minster Gatesthat is in the same metre and fits the words perfectly! You are welcome to use it (please note the copyright information at the bottom of the file).  Alternatively, I wrote this tune to the same metre and for these words. 

It’s quite long, so would work as a processional/recessional/offertory

Gracious God, your love has found us,
bound us, set us free.
Take our lives, transform us into
all that we can be.
Call us, one and all, together,
now and evermore, we pray.

Call us to be Christ-revealing,
radiant with your light;
generous as a hilltop city,
visible and bright.
Call us, one and all, together,
now and evermore, we pray.

 Call us all to live the kingdom,
active here and now;
Life affirming, world-renewing.
Church above, below.
Call us, one and all, together,
now and evermore, we pray.

Call us all in love discerning,
strong in word and deed;
sent, commissioned, gladly serving
all who are in need.
Call us, one and all, together,
now and evermore, we pray.

Call us as your loved disciples:
learning, growing, fed;
Send us out, as new apostles,
Leading as we’re led.
Call us, one and all, together,
now and evermore, we pray.

Call us deeply, touch our souls through
worship, prayer and word,
teach our minds to feel in echo
myst’ries yet unheard.
Call us, one and all, together,
now and evermore, we pray.

Call us, as you called creation
when the world began,
Guide our hearts’ imagination
to your loving plan.
Call us, one and all, together,
now and evermore, we pray.

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Science hymn

This has been written for Ely Cathedral’s Science Festival (May-June 2017).  The tune is Love Unknown.

Praise for the depths of space,
its endless scope and scale:
in such a vast embrace
our words and numbers fail.
For what are we,
that mortal mind
should seek and find
infinity?

Praise for the rules that show
the patterning of time,
creation’s ebb and flow
expressed in reason’s rhyme.
Can these great laws
contain our awe,
a formula
for wonder’s cause?

Praise for the complex codes
each spiral strand conveys,
as chemistry explodes
to life in myriad ways.
Can we compare
what’s ours alone
if we are known
by all we share?

Praise for the drive to know;
from human nature springs
a need to learn and grow,
to understand all things.
Yet wisdom’s prize
is never won:
from all that’s done
new questions rise.

Praise for the gift of sense,
for touch and sights and sounds,
for all the tastes and scents
with which Your world abounds.
For love made known
in every thing,
in praise we sing
to You alone.