Friday, 29 February 2008

Psalter: Week 3 - Friday

Today we have the first part of Psalm 135.

Praise the name of the Lord,
praise him, servants of the Lord,
who stand in the house of the Lord
in the courts of the house of our God.

Praise the Lord for the Lord is good.
Sing a psalm to his name for he is loving.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself
and Israel for his own possession.

For I know the Lord is great,
that our Lord is high above all gods.
the Lord does whatever he wills,
in heaven, on earth, in the seas.

He summons clouds from the ends of the earth;
makes lightning produce the rain;
from his treasuries he sends forth the wind.

The first-born of the Egyptians he smote,
of man and beast alike.
Signs and wonders he worked
in the midst of your land, O Egypt,
against Pharaoh and all his servants.

Nations in their greatness he struck
and kings in their splendour he slew.
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
Og, the king of Bashan,
and all the children of Canaan.
He let Israel inherit their land;
on his people their land he bestowed.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Psalter: Week 3 - Thursday

Today we have Psalm 87.

On the holy mountain is his city
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Sion
to all Jacob's dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things,
O city of God!

'Babylon and Egypt I will count
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,
these shall be her children
and Sion shall be called "Mother"
for all shall be her children.'

It is he, the Lord Most High,
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes:
'These are her children'
and while they dance they will sing:
'In you all find their home.'

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Psalter: Week 3 - Wednesday

Today we have Psalm 98 - one of my favourites!

Sing a new song to the Lord
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation.

The Lord has made known his salvation;
has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
for the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord all the earth,
ring out your joy.

Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
acclaim the King, the Lord.

Let the sea and all within it, thunder;
the world, and all its peoples.
Let the rivers clap their hands
and the hills ring out their joy.

Rejoice at the presence of the Lord,
for he comes to rule the earth.
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with fairness.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Psalter: Week 3 - Tuesday

Here is Psalm 67.

O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your saving help.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and exult
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
you guide the nations on earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its fruit
for God, our God, has blessed us.
May God still give us his blessing,
till the end of the earth revere him.

Let the peoles praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Psalter: Week 3 - Monday

Now it is the turn of Psalm 84.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord, God of hosts.

My soul is longing and yearning,
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy
to God, the living God.

The sparrow herself finds a home
and the swallow a nest for her brood;
she lays her young by your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God.

They are happy, who dwell in your house,
for ever singing your praise.
They are happy, whose strength is in you,
in whose hearts are the roads to Sion.

As they go through the Bitter Valley
they make it a place of springs,
the autumn rain covers it with blessings.
They walk with ever growing strength,
they will see the God of gods in Sion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer,
give ear, O God of Jacob.
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield,
look on the face of your anointed.

One day within your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a rampart, a shield;
he will give us his favour and glory.
The Lord will not refuse any good
to those who walk without blame.

Lord God of hosts,
happy the man who trusts in you!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Psalter: Week 3 - Sunday

On this Day of Resurrection, we turn to Psalm 148 for our praises.

Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his hosts.

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, shining stars.
Praise him highest heavens
and the waters above the heavens.

Let them praise the name of the Lord.
He commanded: they were made.
He fixed them for ever,
gave a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
sea creatures and all oceans,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy winds that obey his word;

all mountains and hills,
all fruit trees and cedars,
beasts, wild and tame,
reptiles and birds on the wing;

all earth's kings and peoples,
earth's princes and rulers;
young men and maidens,
old men together with children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord
for he alone is exalted.
the splendour of his name
reaches beyond heaven and earth.

He exalts the strength of his people.
He is the praise of all his saints,
of the sons of Israel,
of the people to whom he comes close.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Psalter: Week 2 - Saturday

Today we turn to Psalm 8.

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!

Your majesty is praised above the heavens;
on the lips of children and of babes
you have found praise to foil your enemy,
to silence the foe and the rebel.

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
the moon and stars which you have arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
mortal man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him little less than a god;
with glory and honour you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hand,
put all things under his feet.

All of them, sheep and cattle,
yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air, and fish
that make their way through the waters.

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
through all the earth!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Psalter: Week 2 - Friday

Here is Psalm 147.

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
Sion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates,
he has blessed the children within you.
He established peace on your borders,
he feeds you with finest wheat.

He send out his word to the earth
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool,
he scatters hoar-frost like ashes.

He hurls down hailstones like crumbs.
The waters are frozen at his touch;
he sends forth his word and it melts them:
at the breath of his mouth the waters flow.

He makes his word known to Jacob,
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations;
he has not taught them his decrees.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Psalter: Week 2 - Thursday

Today we have Psalm 81.

Ring out you joy to God our strength,
shout in triumph to the God of Jacob.

Raise a song and sound the timbrel,
the sweet-sounding harp and the lute,
blow the trumpet at the new moon,
when the moon is full, on our feast.

For this is Israel's law,
a command of the God of Jacob.
He imposed it as a rule on Joseph,
when he went out against thhe land of Egypt.

A voice I did not know said to me:
'I freed your shoulder from the burden;
your hands were freed from the load.
You called in distress and I saved you.

I answered, concealed in the storm cloud,
at the waters of Meribah I tested you.
Listen my people, to my warning,
O Israel, if only you would heed!

Let there be no foreign god among you,
no worship of an alien god.
I am the Lord your God,
who brought you from the land of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

But my people did not heed my voice
and Israel would not obey,
so I left them in their stubbornness of heart
to follow their own designs.

O that my people would heed me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
At once I would subdue their foes,
turn my hand against their enemies.

The Lord's enemies would cringe at their feet
and their subjection would last for ever.
But Israel I would feed with finest wheat
and fill them with honey from the rock.'

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Psalter: Week 2 - Wednesday

Today is the turn of Psalm 97.

The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
let all the coastlands be glad.
Cloud and darkness are his raiment;
his throne, justice and right.

A fire prepares his path;
it burns up his foes on every side.
His lightenings light up the world,
the earth trembles at the sight.

The mountains melt like wax
before the Lord of all the earth.
The skies proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory.

Let those who serve idols be ashamed,
those who boast of their worthless gods.
All you spirits, worship him.

Sion hears and is glad;
the people of Judah rejoice
because of your judgements O Lord.

For you indeed are the Lord
most high above all the earth
exalted far above all spirits.

The Lord loves those who hate evil:
he guards the souls of his saints;
he sets them free from the wicked.

Light shines forth for the just
and joy for the upright of heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;
give glory to his holy name.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Psalter: Week 2 - Tuesday

Today we turn to Psalm 65 - a lovely harvest psalm.

To you our praise is due
in Sion, O God.
To you we pay our vows,
you who hear our prayer.

To you all flesh will come
with its burden of sin.
Too heavy for us, our offences,
but you wipe them away.

Blessed is he who you choose and call
to dwell in your courts.
We are filled with the blessings of your house,
of your holy temple.

You keep your pledge with wonders,
O God our saviour,
the hope of all the earth
and of distant isles.

You uphold the mountains with your strength,
you are girded with power.
You still the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves
and the tumult of the peoples.

The ends of the earth stand in awe
at the sight of your wonders.
The lands of sunrise and sunset
you fill with your joy.

You care for the earth, give it water,
you fill it with riches.
Your river in heaven brims over
to provide its grain.

And thus you provide for the earth;
You drench its furrows,
you level it, soften it with showers,
you bless its growth.

You crown the year with your goodness.
Abundance flows in your steps,
in the pastures of the wilderness it flows.

The hills are girded with joy,
the meadows covered with flocks,
the valleys are decked with wheat.
they shout for joy, yes, they sing.

I like this psalm!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Psalter: Week 2 - Monday

Today we have Psalm 42.

Like the deer that yearns
for running streams,
so my soul is yearning
for you, my God.

My soul is thirsting for God,
the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
the face of God?

My tears have become my bread,
by night, by day,
as I hear it said all the day long:
'Where is your God?'

These things will I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I would lead the rejoicing crowd
into the house of God,
amid cries of gladness and thanksgiving,
the throng wild with joy.

Why are you cast down my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still,
my saviour and my God.

My soul is cast down within me
as I think of you,
from the country of Jordan and Mount Hermon,
from the Hill of Mizar.

Deep is calling on deep,
in the roar of waters:
your torrents and all your waves
swept over me.

By day the Lord will send
his loving kindness;
by night I will sing to him,
praise the God of my life.

I will say to God, my rock:
'Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning oppressed by the foe?'

With cries that pierce me to the heart,
my enemies revile me,
saying to me all the day long:
'Where is your God?'

Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise him still,
my Saviour and my God.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Psalter: Week 2 - Sunday

It may be Lent, but today is the Day of Resurrection, so we sing that great paean of praise - Psalm 150.

Praise God in his holy place,
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his powerful deeds,
praise his surpassing greatness.

O praise him with the sound of the trumpet,
praise him with lute and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipes.

O praise him with reounding cymbals,
praise him with clashing of cymbals.
Let everything that lives and breathes
give praise to the Lord.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Psalter: Week 1 - Saturday

Today we have part of Psalm 119.

I call with all my heart; Lord, hear me,
I will keep your commands.
I call upon you, save me
and I will do your will.

I rise before dawn and cry for help,
I hope in your word.
My eyes watch through the night
to ponder your promise.

In your love hear my voice, O Lord;
give me life by your decrees.
Those who harm me unjustly draw near:
they are far from your law.

But you, O Lord, are close:
your commands are truth.
Long have I known that your will
is established for ever.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Psalter: Week 1 - Friday

Today it is the turn of Psalm 100.

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy.

Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.

Go within his gates, giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.

Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Psalter: Week 1 - Thursday

Today we turn to Psalm 57, which according to St Augustine celebrates the passion of Christ.

Have mercy on me God, have mercy
for in you my soul has taken refuge.
In the shadow of your wings I take refuge
till the storms of destruction pass by.

I call to God the Most High,
to God who has always been my help.
May he send from heaven and save me
and shame those who assail me.
May God send his truth and love.

My soul lies down among lions,
who would devour the sons of men.
Their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongue a sharpened sword.

O God arise above the heavens;
may your glory shine on earth!

They laid a snare for my steps,
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my path
but fell in it themselves.

My heart is ready, O God,
my heart is ready.
I will sing, I will sing your praise.

Awake my soul,
awake pyre and harp,
I will awake the dawn.

I will thank you Lord among the peoples,
among the nations I will praise you
for your love reaches to the heavens
and your truth to the skies.

O God, arise above the heavens;
may your glory shine on earth!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Psalter: Week 1 - Wednesday

Today we have another royal psalm - Psalm 47.

All peoples, clap your hands,
cry out to God with shouts of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, we must fear,
great king over all the earth.

He subdues peoples under us
and nations under our feet.
Our inheritance, our glory, is from him,
given to Jacob out of love.

God goes up with shouts of joy;
the Lord ascends with trumpet blast.
Sing praise for God, sing praise,
sing praise to our king, sing praise.

God is king of all the earth,
Sing praise with all your skill.
God is king over the nations;
God reigns on his holy throne.

The princes of the peoples are assembled
with the people of Abraham's God.
The rulers of the earth belong to God,
to God who reigns over all.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Psalter: Week 1 - Tuesday

Today we have Psalm 24, and a mighty mountain to climb.

The Lord's is the earth and its fulness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbour.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory.

What a regal psalm!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Psalter: Week 1 - Monday

Today we turn to Psalm 29 and have an image of the Cedars of Lebanon.

O give the Lord you sons of God,
give the Lord glory and power;
give the Lord the glory of his name.
Adore the Lord in his holy court.

The Lord's voice resounding on the waters,
the Lord on the immensity of waters;
the voice of the Lord, full of power,
the voice of the Lord, full of splendour.

The Lord's voice shattering the cedars,
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon;
he makes Lebanon leap like a calf
and Sirion like a young wild-ox.

The Lord's voice flashes flames of fire.
the Lord's voice shaking the wilderness,
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh;
the Lord's voice rending the oak tree
and stripping the forest bare.

The God of glory thunders.
In his temple they all cry: 'Glory!'
The Lord sat enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits as king for ever.

The Lord will give strength to his people,
the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Powerful stuff!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Psalter: Week 1 - Sunday

Today we have part of Psalm 63. The gospel recalls the forty day and forty nights spent by Jesus in the desert being tempted by Satan.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.

For you love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Psalm 51 - Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Here we have another lovely image of an altar in lenten array.

To God the Father, Son,
And Spirit glory be,
As 'twas, and is, and shall be so
To all eternity. Amen.

Tomorrow, I shall be starting a new series on the Four Week Psalter.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Psalm 51 - Friday after Ash Wednesday

Here is another image on an altar in lenten array.

The joy thy favour gives
Let me again obtain,
And thy free Spirit's firm support
My fainting soul sustain.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Psalm 51 - Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Here is a photo of lenten array in Christchurch, Brunswick, Australia.

Wash of my foul offence,
And cleanse me from my sin;
For I confess my crime, and see,
How great my guilt has been.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Psalm 51 - Ash Wednesday

Here we see the High Altar of Salisbury Cathedral in Lenten Array. The Roman Catholic Church uses purple (violet) as the colour for this Lenten season, but a number of Anglican Churches use lenten array. It certainly looks very striking in this magnificent setting.

Have mercy, Lord, on me,
As thou wert ever kind;
Let me, opprest with loads of guilt,
Thy wonted mercy find.

Have a Holy Lent!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Shrove Tuesday

Today we have to bid farewell to a dear friend! We shall not hear this word again until Easter Sunday.

Alleluia, song of sweetness,
Voice of joy, eternal lay;
Alleluia is the anthem
Of the choirs in heavenly day,
Which the angels sing, abiding
In the house of God alway.

Alleluia, thou resoundest,
Salem, mother, ever blest;
Alleluias with ending,
Fit yon place of gladsome rest;
Exiles we, by Babel's waters,
Sit in bondage and distrest.

Alleluia we deserve not
Here to chant for evermore:
Alleluia our transgressions
Make us for a while give o'er;
For the holy time is coming,
Bidding us our sins deplore.

Trinity of endless glory,
Hear thy people as they cry;
Grant us all to keep thy Easter
In our home beyond the sky;
There to thee our Alleluia
Singing everlastingly.

This lovely ceramic usually hangs outside the entrance to the Chapel of the Resurrection. However, I shall be removing it this evening. I shall be starting a new mini-series of blogs tomorrow on Psalm 51.

Monday, 4 February 2008

You are Peter!

I wonder why I am so fond of this poster?

'So now I say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.' (Matthew 16:18)

Crowns and thrones may perish,
Kingdoms rise and wane,
But the Church of Jesus
Constant will remain;
Gates of hell can never
'Gainst that Church prevail;
We have Christ's own promise,
And that cannot fail.
Onward, Christian soldiers,
Marching as to war,
With the Cross of Jesus
Going on before.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

The Sermon on the Mount

The Gospel at Mass today is the start of The Sermon on the Mount - as recorded in the fifth chapter of Matthew. The first verse of my new hymn draws on this scene.

Jesus, Son of God and Mary,
Climbed a hill in Galilee.
There he taught his twelve disciples
With a fresh authority.
'Happy those who have a pure heart,
God my Father they shall see.'

Jesus, Word of God incarnate,
Climbed a mountain with the three.
As they saw the Lord transfigured
God revealed a mystery:
'See my Son, my dearly loved one,
Listen to him faithfully.'

Jesus, Lamb of God who suffered,
Climbed the hill that awesome day,
There he bore our shame and sorrow,
Slain to take our sin away;
'O forgive them, my dear Father!'
Words that he alone could say.

Jesus, risen King of glory,
Climbed the mountain to ascend
To his throne, in highest heaven,
Whence the Spirit would descend.
Alleluia! 'I am with you!
Now, and till all time shall end!'

Copyright: Peter Simpson (b 1953) / Jubilate Hymns

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Feast of Candlemas

Today's Mass at Ham will be in the Extra-Ordinary Form (Tridentine Mass). Here we see the altar prepared for Mass. The crib will be removed before the First Mass of the Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time - which will be celebrated in green vestments at 6.00 pm this evening.

When candles are lighted on Candlemas Day,
The dark is behind us and spring's on the way.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
The light of Christ, the fulness of grace.

The kings have departed, the shepherds have gone,
The child and his parents are left on their own.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
The light of Christ, the fulness of grace.

They go to the temple, obeying the law,
And offer two pigeons, the gift of the poor.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
The light of Christ, the fulness of grace.

But Anna and Simeon recognise there
The Christ-child, who came at the turn of the year.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
The light of Christ, the fulness of grace.

The candles invite us to praise and to pray,
When Christmas greets Easter on Candlemas Day.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
The light of Christ, the fulness of grace.

Happy Feast!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Feast of St Thomas Aquinas - 5

Here is a photo of a lovely flower arrangement for the feast day.

Jesus! whom for the present veiled I see,
What I so thrist for, oh vouchsafe to me:
That I may see thy countenance unfolding,
And may be blest thy glory in beholding.

I'm not sorry to see the backside of January!