Galactic clouds that surf through space – Hymn

Galactic clouds that surf through space,
remote from time and art;
beyond our sense of God or grace,
can make us freeze or start.

Collisions in a cosmic void
disturb our sense of peace,
set spinning hopes and fears and dreams
distorting our belief.

For earth-bound concepts tie our minds
to this material earth,
while metaphysical extremes
are wombed, then come to birth.

A new perspective shifts and shines,
a thousand stars give light,
a supernova come and gone
to brighten faith’s dark night.

Andrew Pratt 8/1/2019 & 2/2/2019
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Note: A catastrophic galaxy collision could send our solar system flying into space. That’s the conclusion of new research conducted via the EAGLE Project – a comprehensive computer simulation aimed at understanding how galaxies form and evolve – conducted on some of the world’s largest supercomputers. Astrophysicists at Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, working with the University of Helsinki in Finland, use data from the Eagle Project to predict a collision between our Milky Way galaxy and the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud. The collision might dislodge our solar system, and send it flying, some two billion years from now. (Accessed 3/12/2019 https://earthsky.org/space/galaxy-collision-milky-way-lmc-solar-system )

Much brighter than a thousand suns – Hymn of Transfiguration

1            Much brighter than a thousand suns,
the source of life, eternal grace;
light of the cosmos and this world
now shining from a saviour’s face.
Upon the mountain’s towering height
they saw transfiguration’s light.

2            This man, this Jesus, they had known,
who called them once by Galilee,
now stood upon the mountaintop,
he seemed exalted, shining, free.
Disciples caught in stark surprise
had shielded dazzled, blinded eyes.

3            Free of the bonds of human life
and distanced by some greater power,
a strange yet mystic harmony
joined earth and heaven in this hour.
It seemed that God was very near,
inspiring awe, dispelling fear.

4            The height of love, the depth of grace,
the dazzling birth of something new,
a supernova magnified,
a stunning, startling, shining view,
for God affirmed Christ’s human worth
illuminating all the earth.

Tune: ABINGDON; SAGINA
Words Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)© 2012 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk. Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Holocaust hymn

As we remember holocaust,
in horror disbelieving
the history of the human race,
we share each other’s grieving;
God purge us of hypocrisy,
of all our self–deceiving.

Our language is inadequate,
unfit for the expression
of hatred that we visualise,
humanity’s confession;
we hurry headlong into hell,
we witness love’s regression.

The deepest, distant agony
that throbs through all creation,
the silent tears that quietly fall
in every generation,
are signs of our humanity,
our need for re–creation.

God give us strength to make a pledge
to move beyond contention,
to see, in each, humanity.
Through greater good intention,
God, move us toward a purer love,
a gracious intervention.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) © 2003 Stainer & Bell Ltd
No tune has been suggested for this hymn – if you know one please post.

Susanna Wesley Anniversary Hymn 2

One of two hymns written for the Anniversary of the Birth of Susanna Wesley 350 years ago – 20th January 1669.
She was the mother of John and Charles Wesley.

Not just a shadow in the past,
a smudge on history’s page,
but women shared their faith themselves
and took the centre stage.

Not just content to live their lives
through children they had borne,
but standing, speaking, preaching love,
in face of fear or scorn.

Their sons might take the central place,
convention seemed to rule,
but wisdom played a different hand:
showed prejudice a fool.

So now we stand where they once stood,
defiant in God’s grace,
no crude constraint will turn us back
in any time or place!

Andrew Pratt 14/1/2019
Metre: CM
Tunes: SHANTI (by Marty Haugen); ABRIDGE.
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

Susanna Wesley Anniversary Hymn 1

One of two hymns written for the Anniversary of the Birth of Susanna Wesley 350 years ago – 20th January 1669.
She was the mother of John and Charles Wesley.

The wisdom of women, so often determines
the paths that we take from the moment of birth;
both nature and nurture define through our growing:
a life hardly noticed or fame upon earth.

As parents we live out our lives through our children,
restraining, controlling or letting them grow;
demanding obedience, enabling their freedom,
or opening doors, simply letting them go.

The care and compassion received in the cradle
can influence choices and actions we take,
the growth of our faith, or our arrogant conflict,
the walls that we build, or the bridges we make.

From humble beginnings faith leaders are nurtured,
in just such a crib can a tyrant be found,
a mother or father can model commitment,
God’s graciousness planted in gently tilled ground.

And so we remember the strength of our parents,
their place in informing what we have become,
and those who through history have parented leaders
extending their influence through daughter or son.

Andrew Pratt 14/1/2019
Metre: 12.11.12.11
Tunes: ST CATHERIINES COURT; STREETS OF LAREDO
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

More than hymns – book still available

More2Bthan2Bhymns
More than Hymns – Words for a Lyrical Faith – Stainer & Bell Ltd
http://www.stainer.co.uk/shop/b944.html
ISBN 0 85249 944 3

A creative spirituality is the essence of Andrew Pratt’s continuing affirmation of the role of hymnody in contemporary faith, through a corpus of lyrics for public worship that are amongst the most relevant of recent contributions to the form. No less than with his very first texts, dating from the late 1970s, the goal in this fourth and latest collection is to make sense of language, living and worshipping in a way that also acknowledges the shifting and often contextual nature of our words and of our world. One important influence in More than Hymns has been the discipline of writing hymns for three years of the readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Another has been his response to the problem of evil as manifest in the crises and conflicts of the last decade. There are challenging insights into familiar Biblical themes, and a number of refreshing items, each a pièce d’occasion arising from the author’s varied pastoral work. (Publisher’s comment).