A Hymn for Candlemas

A Hymn for Candlemas (aka the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple)  Tune: Repton. 

Dear Father God, we gather here
In this great house of prayer.
We come just as we are to you
as one who knows us through and through,
and keeps us in your care,
in love beyond compare.

Dear Father God, we praise the name
of Jesus Christ your Son,
The light for all the nations shines,
we see how your salvation binds
all people into one,
and brings your children home.

Dear Father God, we sing your praise
for promises come true.
As young and old our voices raise
and joyfully proclaim, “God’s ways
are heaven breaking through
to make the earth anew.

So Father God, may each of us
go out into the night
to share the joy you give to us,
to praise, to sing, to teach, to bless
all people with your light,
and make the darkness bright.

We praise you, Father, for you own
our future and our past.
Your promised kingdom soon shall come,
and then, when earthly life is done
your love will hold us fast,
in heaven’s peace at last.

A rather unseasonal picture


Gloucester Cathedral is hosting an art exhibition next month on the theme of Candlemas (the story of Jesus as a baby being presented in the temple).  Here’s my painting for the exhibition.  It’s acrylic on canvas, and mostly done with my fingers, rather than a brush – I love the feel of painty fingers!)  If you want to know what the weird archways are in the background they’re mostly the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses, symbolising the way Candlemas looks back to the past). The light comes from the baby Jesus, illuminating the faces of those gathered around him but also the pillars of the Pentateuch – the light that lightens the Gentiles also makes the beauty and the strength of the past come into clearer focus.   You can possibly just make out the barest shadow of a cross on the top of the painting.  The whole thing is rather unseasonal because Candlemas is in February.