Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Feast of St Andrew

Today we celebrate with great joy the Feast of St Andrew - Patron Saint of Scotland. Before Jesus called him to be his disciple, Andrew was a fisherman, and so we have a photo of the Pentland Firth between mainland Scotland and the Orkney Islands - an excellent area for fishing.

Jesus calls us over the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless, sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, “Christian, follow Me!”

As of old Saint Andrew heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more!”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these!”

Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Saviour may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.

Mrs C F Alexander (1815-95)

As a special treat for today, there now follows a video about the Transalpine Redemptorists who live on Papa Stronsay.

Happy Feast!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 22

As we gaze on our Crucified Lord outside the Italian Chapel, let us meditate on the words of the hymn that follows.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

We now watch a lovely video showing the Final Profession of Br Martin Mary on the Orkney Island of Papa Stronsay on 15 August of this year. He is certainly trying to live out the words of the final verse of our hymn.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

1st Sunday of Advent

Here we see the magnificent Calvary outside the Italian Chapel on Orkney. Let us gaze on this sign as we remember the words of the Lord recorded in the gospel according to Matthew, 'you must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.' You may also wish to listen to the first 2 verses of my favourite Advent hymn which is sung to the glorious tune 'Helmsley'.

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christ the King returns to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him,
robed in dreadful majesty;
those who set at nought and sold him,
pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall the true Messiah see.

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers;
with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
gaze we on those glorious scars!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
high on thine eternal throne;
Saviour, take the power and glory;
claim the kingdom for thine own:
O come quickly, O come quickly, O come quickly,
Alleluia! Come, Lord, come!

Words: John Cennick (1718-1755), 1752;
as altered by Charles Wesley (1707-1788), 1758.

Was the organist really thinking of the words when he pulled the tuba out on verse 2? Surely he should have saved it for verse 4!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 21

The Orkney Islands can have some very severe weather during the winter months - but things are not always that quiet during the summer - as the following plaque explains.

The stone circle and henge is located between the lochs of Harray and Stenness which are important for wildfowl, particularly goldeneye, scaup, pochard and tufted duck.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

Not the labour of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

A M Toplady (1740-1778)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 20

Here we see part of the Ring of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge which is located 5 miles north east of Stromness on Mainland Orkney.

This is a magnificent circle of upright stones with an enclosing ditch spanned by causeways, dating to the late Neolithic period. It is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

The passage of the rays of sun around the circle helps to show the time of day - a theme taken up in our hymn for today.

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares could destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Jan Struther (1901-1953)

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 19

It is clear that the diet of the villagers of Skara Brae was richly endowed with meats of land and fish of sea. Many meat and seafood eaters today might well envy them the following menu:

MEAT - Beef, lamb, pork, venison, goat.
FISH AND SEAFOOD - Cod, saithe, lobster, crab, mussels, sea urchin, oysters, whale and seal meat.

Perhaps their taste for the flesh and eggs of seabirds - eider duck, great auk, gannet, guillemot, shag - seems a little less desirable!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 18

We face a problem trying to say what the villagers of Skara Brae ate. Vegetable matter does not preserve as well as animal. So, while there is plenty of evidence to tell us about its meat content, little remains to help us detail what part fruits and cereals played in the diet.

However, we do know that they cultivated barley and a little wheat. They may have baked bread. In all likelihood they collected wild plants, herbs, fruits and nuts. They may have brewed alcoholic beers by fermenting local plants.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 17

The people of Skara Brae were farmers and fishermen.

They kept cattle and a few pigs. They also kept sheep or goats - it is impossible from bone remains to say which. They may have kept both. They grew crops, chiefly barley, but also some wheat.

We don't know a great deal about their fishing. Almost no fishing tackle has been found in the material recovered from the site. But a large amount of fishbone has been identified - mainly cod and saithe. This suggests most of their fishing was coastal.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 16

The central hearth would have heated the houses - as well as providing the cooking facility.

The houses would have been very dark had there been no interior lighting except that radiating from the fire in the hearth. And no surviving objects resemble lamps.

There would have been little ventilation. The air inside the houses would have been very smoky. This could have allowed food to have been smoked in the roof.

Today we see only the skeletons of the people's box bed, the stone remains. Bracken would have served as a form of mattress; sheepskins and other animal skins would have been used as blankets.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Feast of the Christ the King

This 34th (and last) Sunday of Ordinary Time is celebrated as the Feast of Christ the King.

King of glory, King of peace,
I will love thee;
and that love may never cease,
I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request,
thou hast heard me;
thou didst note my working breast,
thou hast spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing thee,
and the cream of all my heart
I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied,
thou didst hear me.

Seven whole days, not one in seven,
I will praise thee;
in my heart, though not in heaven,
I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort
to enroll thee:
e'en eternity's too short
to extol thee.

George Herbert, 1633

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 15

In the centre of the house between the door and the dresser is the hearth. But what did they burn it it?

While there is plenty of usable peat in Orkney today, this didn't form until several centuries after the settlement was abandoned. Fuel was probably a mixture of animal dung, dried seaweed, heather, bracken, and maritime mammal bone (rich in oil) - such as whalebone.

They also may have burned some wood. But not much. Virtually no charcoal has been found. Wood was probably too precious to burn.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 14

The furniture in the village houses was made largely from stone. And this for two related reasons.

First, Orkney, then as now, was almost without trees - certainly trees large enough to provide timber in bulk.

Second, the nature of the local flagstone, its ready availability, its easy workability, makes it ideal contraction material for most purposes.

In each house, the dresser faces the door, and dominates your view as you enter. This may have been a simple storage unit. But it could have provided a place of display, something like today's mantlepiece or sideboard, where a family's - or an individual's - prized belongings could be arrayed.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 13

The floor area of the houses is some 36 square metres compared with the 61.5 square metres of a modern two-bedroomed semi-detached house or apartment in Britain today. So, the houses are quite spacious - although, being just one room, they may not appear so. It is perhaps worth noting that the small size of the house doorways doesn't mean that the people themselves were small - merely that small doorways offer good draught-proofing from Orcadian winds.

The beams supporting the roof would have been whalebone or timber - perhaps varying from house to house, depending on what was available. the roofs themselves were probably made from turf, held down by a network of weighted ropes of twisted heather.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 12

The village of Skara Brae was inhabited before the Egyptian pyramids were built, and flourished many centuries before construction began at Stonehenge. It is some 5,000 years old.

But it is not its age alone that makes it so remarkable and so important. It is the degree to which it has been preserved.

The structures of this semi-subterranean village survive in impressive condition. And so, amazingly, does the furniture in the village houses. Nowhere else in northern Europe are we able to see such rich evidence of how our remote ancestors actually lived.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 11

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Margaret of Scotland.

We have now travelled from Kirkwall to Skara Brae which is located due north of Stromness.

Here we see the flag of Historic Scotland flying proudly over their World Heritage Site.

In the winter of 1850 a wild storm stripped the grass from the high dune known as Skara Brae in the Bay of Skaill on mainland Orkney. An immense midden or refuse heap was uncovered. So too were the ruins of ancient dwellings. What came to light in that storm proved to be the best preserved neolithic village in northern Europe. And it remains that today.

Happy Feast!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 10

Here is a photo of part of the Bishop's Palace at Kirkwall.

The Bishop's Palace is the older of the two ruined palaces found in the centre of Kirkwall.

Situated a short distance to the south of St Magnus Cathedral, the palace was built in the mid-12th century for Bishop William the Old - a friend and crusading companion of Earl Rognvald Kolsson, the cathedral’s founder.

The palace was originally intended to provide accommodation for Bishop William and his entourage. So, shortly after the construction work on the cathedral began, the Bishop and his staff moved from their old seat of power in Birsay to their new home in Kirkwall.

At this time, it is likely that the palace conformed to the plan of a Royal Norwegian Palace - consisting of a hall, used for entertaining, and a tower house that formed the Bishop's private residence.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today is of course Remembrance Sunday, and so we have another view of the magnificent War Memorial in Inverness. War is a dreadful thing, but we should not be surprised when it happens. In the gospel today we hear Jesus reminds us 'Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.' As we pray for the repose of the souls of those who have died in conflict, we must also pray for the gift of peace.

O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war
As who had heard God’s message from afar;
All you had hoped for, all you had, you gave,
To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.

Splendid you passed, the great surrender made;
Into the light that nevermore shall fade;
Deep your contentment in that blest abode,
Who wait the last clear trumpet call of God.

Long years ago, as earth lay dark and still,
Rose a loud cry upon a lonely hill,
While in the frailty of our human clay,
Christ, our Redeemer, passed the self same way.

Still stands His Cross from that dread hour to this,
Like some bright star above the dark abyss;
Still, through the veil, the Victor’s pitying eyes
Look down to bless our lesser Calvaries.

These were His servants, in His steps they trod,
Following through death the martyred Son of God:
Victor, He rose; victorious too shall rise
They who have drunk His cup of sacrifice.

O risen Lord, O Shepherd of our dead,
Whose cross has bought them and Whose staff has led,
In glorious hope their proud and sorrowing land
Commits her children to Thy gracious hand.

John Stanhope Arkwright (1872–1954)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 9

Here is a lovely tapestry depicting the martyrdom of St Magnus.

The Cathedral was founded by Earl Rognvald in the memory of his relative St Magnus, who had been murdered by his cousin Hakon, co-ruler of the Orkneys. Hakon is depicted in a stained glass window in the north transept which dates from the 19th century. In 1980, local children contributed a whole series of paintings to show the events in his life and the brutal murder.

The following hymn is usually sung to the Tune 'St Magnus' by Jeremiah Clark (1670-1707).

The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty victor’s brow.

The highest place that Heav’n affords
Belongs to Him by right;
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
And Heaven’s eternal Light.

The joy of all who dwell above,
The joy of all below,
To whom He manifests His love,
And grants His Name to know.

To them the cross with all its shame,
With all its grace, is given;
Their name an everlasting name,
Their joy the joy of Heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below;
They reign with Him above;
Their profit and their joy to know
The mystery of His love.

The cross He bore is life and health,
Though shame and death to Him,
His people’s hope, His people’s wealth,
Their everlasting theme.

T Kelly (1769-1854)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 8

Here we see the statue of St Olaf inside the Cathedral. Martyr and King of Norway (1015-30), b. 995; d. 29 July, 1030.

He was a son of King Harald Grenske of Norway. According to Snorre, he was baptized in 998 in Norway, but more probably about 1010 in Rouen, France, by Archbishop Robert. In his early youth he went as a viking to England, where he partook in many battles and became earnestly interested in Christianity. After many difficulties he was elected King of Norway, and made it his object to extirpate heathenism and make the Christian religion the basis of his kingdom.

He is the great Norwegian legislator for the Church, and made frequent severe attacks on the old faith and customs, demolishing the temples and building Christian churches in their place. He brought many bishops and priests from England, as King Saint Cnut later did to Denmark. He seems on the whole to have taken the Anglo-Saxon conditions as a model for the ecclesiastical organization of his kingdom.

But at last the exasperation against him got so strong that the mighty clans rose in rebellion against him and applied to King Cnut of Denmark and England for help. This was willingly given, whereupon Olaf was expelled and Cnut elected King of Norway. He is thus regarded by the Norwegians of our days as the great champion of national independence, and Catholic and Protestant alike may find in Saint Olaf their great idea.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Armistice Day

Here we see the magnificent War Memorial in Inverness. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year let us all keep silence for 2 minutes to remember the dead of Two World Wars and all other conflicts.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon them.

May they rest in peace; and rise in glory. Amen.

STOP PRESS: I am greatly honoured to have been invited to be one of the two members of clergy leading the worship during the Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial this coming Sunday at 3.00 pm.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 7

Here we see an example of modern stained glass in the Cathedral. This was largely financed by The Society of the Friends of St Magnus Cathedral.

In 1972 when the west end of the Cathedral was in danger of collapse, the Society launched a successful ‘Save St Magnus’ Appeal under the patronage of HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The Appeal raised some £300,000 enabling steel support girders to be installed above the nave at the west end.

Since then the Society has been closely involved in a whole range of projects, large and small. These include:
The stabilisation of the west gable.
The renewal of the spire
Installation and renewal of the sound system
Sponsoring a video of ‘the Saga of St Magnus’
The reconstruction of the Rose window in the south transept.
The publication of the Cathedral guide book now in its 4th edition.
The installation of the west window to celebrate the 850th anniversary of the Cathedral
The maintenance of the stained glass windows
Sponsoring the ‘Friends Room’ in the St Magnus Centre
Major refurbishment and ongoing repairs to the Willis organ
Construction of a new toilet block
Replacement of the Cathedral chairs.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 6

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.

Here we see the pulpit and the nave Communion Table inside St Magnus Cathedral.

Holy Communion is celebrated on the significant dates in the Christian Year, namely Science Festival Sunday [1st in September] All Saints Sunday [1st in November, Christmas Day [jointly with Kirkwall East Church, Candlemas [1st in February] Easter Day, around Pentecost/Trinity [1st in June]. There is also a Communion service held on the first Sunday in August.

The Cathedral has an open Table at Communion services which means that any baptised member of Christ’s Church is welcome to share in the Sacrament. This includes children.

By contrast, Mass is celebrated several times each day in the Lateran Basilica, but there is not an 'open table'.

I look forward to the day when the Transalpine Redemptorists from Papa Stronsay (Orkney) will be able to celebrate the Old Rite Mass in this beautiful and historic setting.

Happy Feast!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 5

Here is the impressive interior of St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.

The first design of St Magnus Cathedral was influenced by Durham Cathedral and Dunfermline Abbey. This original design was of a cruciform church with apsed chapels at the eastern ends of the choir and both transepts.

The original design called for vaulted aisles in the choir and nave, and a tower over the crossing. The arcading of the aisles would consist of circular piers and arches that would support a triforium level, and above that a clerestory level.

By the 1150s the choir was completed, the transepts had been constructed to triforium level, and the crossing and nave were less than half complete. After the deaths of Earl Rognvald and Bishop William, work stopped until the late twelfth century.

When Bjarni Kolbeinsson became bishop in 1188 he introduced design changes. The choir would be doubled in size, the crossing rebuilt and a massive tower and steeple constructed. New square chaples would be built in the transepts and the nave would be extended and furnished.

When Bjarni died in 1223 the transepts, chapels, and crossing arches were complete. The nave was complete to triforium level up to the sixth bay and there was a gap to the three completed

By the episcopate of Bishop Henry the Cathedral was fully completed up to the sixth bay of the nave. The west end of the nave and the west façade were not completed until the fifteenth or later sixteenth century.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

In the gospel today we are invited to look forward to being Risen with Christ.

Lights' abode, celestial Salem,
vision whence true peace doth spring,
brighter than the heart can fancy,
mansion of the highest King;
O how glorious are the praises
which of thee the prophets sing!

There for ever and for ever
alleluia is outpoured;
for unending, for unbroken
is the feast-day of the Lord;
all is pure and all is holy
that within thy walls is stored.

There no cloud nor passing vapour
dims the brightness of the air;
endless noonday, glorious noonday,
from the Sun of suns is there;
there no night brings rest from labour,
for unknown are toil and care.

O how glorious and resplendent,
fragile body, shalt thou be,
when endued with heavenly beauty,
full of health, and strong, and free,
full of vigour, full of pleasure
that shall last eternally!

Now with gladness, now with courage,
bear the burden on thee laid,
that hereafter these thy labours
may with endless gifts be paid,
and in everlasting glory
thou with joy may'st be arrayed.

Laud and honour to the Father,
laud and honour to the Son,
laud and honour to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One,
consubstantial, co-eternal,
while unending ages run.

Words: Thomas à Kempis, fifteenth century;
Trans. John Mason Neale, 1854

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 4

By midday we had reached Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands. In the centre of Kirkwall we see the magnificent Cathedral of St Magnus.

St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall dominates the skyline of Kirkwall, the main town of Orkney, a group of islands off the north coast of mainland Scotland. It is the most northerly cathedral in the British Isles, a fine example of Romanesque architecture built for the bishops of Orkney when the islands were ruled by the Norse Earls of Orkney. It is owned not by the church, but by the burgh of Kirkwall as a result of an act of King James III of Scotland following Orkney's annexation by the Scottish Crown in 1468. It has its own dungeon.

Its construction commenced in 1137 and it was added to over the next three hundred years. The first Bishop was William the Old, and the diocese was under the authority of the Archbishop of Nidaros in Norway. It was for Bishop William that the nearby Bishop's Palace was built.

Before the Reformation, the Cathedral was presided over by the Bishop of Orkney, whose seat was in Kirkwall. Today it is a parish church of the Church of Scotland.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 3

Here we see the luxury coach which was waiting at the harbour at Burwick for our tour of the Orkney Islands.

I was keen to get everyone singing on the bus - but thought better of it. I didn't want to be thrown off!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 2

Here is the Pentland Venture which carried us from John o'Groats to Burwick on South Ronaldsay.

The smooth crossing took around 45 minutes.

Rather a fitting song for All Souls-tide! I particularly like the Alleluias - a feature of the Modern Roman Rite.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 1

At the beginning of August, I enjoyed a day trip to Orkney in the company of a former work colleague.

The day started with a journey of 123 miles from Inverness to John o' Groats in the far north east of the Scottish mainland.

The wild, windswept Orkney Islands lie off the northernmost tip of the British mainland (at around the same latitude as Stockholm) and are noted for their stunning scenery and historic sites stretching back millennia. There are about 70 islands all up, though little over a dozen are populated. Much of the landscape consists of moors blanketed in heather or sweeping grasslands, with more varied terrain in places such as Hoy.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

All Souls' Day

Today we celebrate the Feast of All Souls. Not the joyous blasts on the tuba we heard yesterday, but just enough organ to sustain our hymn singing.

Let saints on earth in concert sing
With those whose work is done;
For all the servants of our King
In Heav’n and earth are one.

One family, we dwell in Him,
One Church, above, beneath;
Though now divided by the stream,
The narrow stream of death.

One army of the living God,
To His command we bow;
Part of the host have crossed the flood,
And part are crossing now.

E’en now to their eternal home
There pass some spirits blest;
While others to the margin come,
Waiting their call to rest.

Jesu, be Thou our constant Guide;
Then, when the word is given,
Bid Jordan’s narrow stream divide,
And bring us safe to Heav’n.

Charles Wesley (1707-88)

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon them.

Monday, 1 November 2010

All Saints' Day

Today we celebrate the glorious Festival of All Saints.

For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Bishop W W How (1823-97)

Happy Festival Day!