Archive for November 2010

From the Hanukkah (Chanukah) Service   2 comments

A Very Old Hanukkah Lamp

Image Source = Wikipedia

The lights of Chanukah are a symbol of our joy.  In time of darkness, our ancestors had the courage to struggle for freedom:  freedom to be themselves, freedom to worship in their own way.  Theirs was a victory of the weak over the strong, the few over the many, and the righteous over the arrogant.  It was a victory for all ages and all peoples.

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.

Blessed is the flame that burns in the heart’s secret places.

Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake.

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.

Zion hears and is glad;

the cities of Judah rejoice, O Lord,

because of Your judgments.

Within living memory, our people was plunged into deepest darkness.  But we endured; the light of faith still burns brightly, and once again we see kindled the flame of freedom.  Our people Israel has survived all who sought to destroy us.  Now, through love and self-sacrifice, we labor to renew our life.

Let the lights we kindle shine forth for the world.  May they illumine our lives even as they fill us with gratitude that our faith has been saved from extinction time and again.

Gates of Prayer:  The New Union Prayerbook–Weekdays, Sabbaths, and Festivals:  Services and Prayers for Synagogue and Home (New York:  Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1975), p. 642

Posted November 28, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Praise of God/Seeking God 1900s

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For the Sabbath in Hanukkah (Chanukah)   4 comments

Hanukkah Stamp, U.S.A.

Image Source = Wikipedia

With grateful hearts we remember Your protection, when tyrants sought to destroy Your people and to uproot the religion of Israel.  We take pride in the valor of the Maccabees, their faith in You, their devotion to Your law which inspired them to deeds of heroism.  We commemorate the rededication of Your sanctuary, the consecration of its altar to Your worship, and celebrate the rekindling of the eternal light, whose rays shone forth out of the encircling darkness as the symbol of Your presence as the beacon light of Your truth for all the world.

Be with us now–with us and our children.  Make us strong to do Your will.  Help us to understand and proclaim the truth, that not by might and not by power, but by Your power alone can we prevail.  Grant to each person and every nation the blessings of liberty, justice, and peace.  Let injustice and oppression cease, and hatred, cruelty, and wrong pass away, so that all human beings may unite to worship You in love and devotion.

Bless, O God, the Chanukah lights, that they may shed their radiance into our homes and our lives.  May they kindle within us the flame of faith and zeal, that, like the Maccabees of old, we battle bravely for Your cause.  Then shall we be worthy of Your love and Your blessing, O God, our Shield and our Protector.  Amen.

Gates of Prayer:  The New Union Prayerbook–Weekdays, Sabbaths, and Festivals:  Services and Prayers for Synagogue and Home (New York:  Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1975), p. 397

Posted November 28, 2010 by neatnik2009 in Praise of God/Seeking God 1900s

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O Day of Peace That Dimly Shines   7 comments

Shalom in Hebrew

Image Source = Wikipedia

Hymn Source = The Episcopal Hymnal 1982

Words by the Reverend Carl P. Daw, Jr. (born 1944), an Episcopal priest

The tune is Jerusalem, as in “And did those feet in ancient times….”

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1.  O day of peace that dimly shines

through all our hopes and prayers and dreams,

guide us to justice, truth, and love,

delivered from our selfish schemes.

May swords of hate fall from our hands,

our hearts from envy find release,

till by God’s grace

our warring world shall see

Christ’s promised reign of peace.

2.  Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb,

nor shall the fierce devour the small;

as beasts and cattle calmly graze,

a little child shall lead them all.

Then enemies shall learn to love,

all creatures find their true accord;

the hope of peace shall be fulfilled,

for all the earth shall know the Lord.

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/fifteenth-day-of-advent-third-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/eighth-day-of-advent-second-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/first-day-of-advent-first-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/first-day-of-advent-first-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/eighth-day-of-advent-second-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fifteenth-day-of-advent-third-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

Christ is the World’s True Light   2 comments

Above:  Light Shining

Image Source = Zouavman Le Zouave

Hymn Source = The Episcopal Hymnal 1940

Words by the Reverend George Wallace Briggs, an English priest

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1.  Christ is the world’s true Light,

Its Captain of salvation,

The Day-star clear and bright

Of every man and nation;

New life, new hope awakes,

Where’er men own his sway:

Freedom her bondage breaks,

And night is turned to day.

2.  In Christ all races meet,

Their ancient feuds forgetting,

The whole round world complete,

From sunrise to its setting:

When Christ is throned as Lord,

Men shall forsake their fear,

To ploughshare beat the sword,

To pruning-hook the spear.

3.  One Lord, in one great Name

Unite us all who own thee;

Cast out our pride and shame

That hither to enthrone thee;

The world has waited long,

Has travailed long in pain;

To heal its ancient wrong,

Come, Prince of Peace, and reign.

Prepare the Way, O Zion!   5 comments

A Road in the Negev Desert

Image in the Public Domain

Original words by Frans Mikael Franzen (1772-1847), a Finnish-Swedish Lutheran pastor and bishop

Translated by the Reverend Augustus Nelson (1863-1949)

Hymn Source = Service Book and Hymnal (1958), of the predecessor bodies of the American Lutheran Church (1960-1987) and the Lutheran Church in America (1962-1987)

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1.  Prepare the way, O Zion!

Ye awful deeps, rise high;

Sink low, ye lofty mountains,

The Lord is drawing nigh;

The righteous King of glory,

Foretold in ancient story.

O Blest is he that came

In God the Father’s Name!

2.  O Zion, he approaches,

Your Lord and King for aye;

Strew palms where he advances,

Spread garments in his way;

God’s promise faileth never,

Hosannah sound forever.

O blest is he that came

In God the Father’s Name!

3.  Fling wide your portals, Zion,

And hail your glorious King;

His tidings of salvation

To every people bring,

Who, waiting still in sadness,

Would sing his praise with gladness.

O Blest is he came

In God the Father’s Name!

4.  The throne which he ascended

Is fixed in heaven above;

His everlasting kingdom

Is light and joy and love;

Let us his praise be sounding

For grace and peace abounding.

O blest is he that came

In God the Father’s Name!

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/fifteenth-day-of-advent-third-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/eighth-day-of-advent-second-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/first-day-of-advent-first-sunday-of-advent-year-b/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/first-day-of-advent-first-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/eighth-day-of-advent-second-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fifteenth-day-of-advent-third-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/fourth-sunday-of-advent-year-a/

We Plow the Fields   3 comments

We Plow the Fields

Above:  Part of the Hymn

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Hymn Source = The Hymnbook (1955), prepared by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Church in America, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., the United Presbyterian Church of North America, and the Presbyterian Church in the United States

Original words by Claudius Matthias (1740-1815), a German Lutheran poet

English translation by Jane Montgomery Campbell (1817-1878), a member of the Church of England and a teacher of singing

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1.  We plow the fields, and scatter

The good seed on the land,

But it is fed and watered

By God’s almighty hand;

He sends the snow in winter,

The warmth to swell the grain,

The breezes and the sunshine,

And soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us

Are sent from heaven above;

Then thank the Lord,

O thank the Lord

For all His love.

2.  He only is the Maker

Of all things near and far;

He paints the wayside flower,

He lights the evening star;

The winds and waves obey Him,

By Him the birds are fed;

Much more to us, His children,

He gives our daily bread.

All good gifts around us

Are sent from heaven above;

Then thank the Lord,

O thank the Lord

For all His love.

3.  We thank thee, then, O Father,

For all things bright and good;

The seed-time and the harvest,

Our life, our health, our food;

Accept the gifts we offer,

For all Thy love imparts,

And what Thou most desirest,

Our humble, thankful hearts.

All good gifts around us

Are sent from heaven above;

Then thank the Lord,

O thank the Lord

For all His love.

O Very God of Very God   1 comment

John Mason Neale (1818-1866), a Priest and Hymn Writer of the Church of England

Image Source = Wikipedia

Hymn Source = The Hymnal 1982, of The Episcopal Church

Words by John Mason Neale

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1.  O very God of very God,

and very Light of Light,

whose feet this earth’s dark valley trod

that so it might be bright:

2.  Our hopes are weak, our fears are strong,

thick darkness blinds our eyes;

cold is the night; thy people long

that thou, their Sun, wouldst rise.

3.  And even now, though dull and gray,

the east is brightening fast,

and kindling to the perfect day

that never shall be past.

4.  O guide us till our path is done,

and we have reached the shore

where thou, our everlasting Sun,

art shining evermore.

5.  We wait in faith, and turn our face

to where the daylight springs,

till thou shalt come our gloom to chase,

with healing in thy wings.

Help Us Accept Each Other   1 comment

Above:  Statue of Reconciliation, Coventry Cathedral

Image Source = Rebecca Kennison

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UK_Coventry_Statue-of-Reconcilliation.jpg)

Hymn Source = The Presbyterian Hymnal:  Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs (1990), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Words by the Reverend Fred Kaan (1929-2009), of the United Reformed Church, a Presbyterian-Congregationalist denomination in the United Kingdom

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1.  Help us accept each other

As Christ accepted us;

Teach us as sister, brother,

Each person to embrace.

Be present, Lord, among us

And bring us to believe

We are ourselves accepted

and meant to love and live.

2.  Teach us, O Lord, Your lessons,

As in our daily life

We struggle to be human

And search for hope and faith.

Teach us to care for people,

For all, not just for some,

To love them as we find them

Or as they may become.

3.  Let Your acceptance change us,

So that we may be moved

In living situations

To do the truth in love;

To practice Your acceptance

Until we know by heart

The table of forgiveness

And laughter’s healing art.

4.  Lord, for today’s encounters

With all who are in need,

Who hunger for acceptance,

For righteousness and bread,

We need new eyes for seeing,

New hands for holding on:

Renew us with Your Spirit;

Lord, free us, make us one!

Eternal Father, Strong to Save   1 comment

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy

Image in the Public Domain

Words by William Whiting (1825-1878), an English poet and hymn writer

Whiting wrote the original words in 1860 and made slight changes in them during his lifetime.  Members of succeeding generations have continued this practice.  I have consulted my collection of hymnals and identified slight variations in words, such as “O Holy Spirit” versus “O sacred Spirit,” both of which Whiting wrote.  The 1933 Hymnal, of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., and the 1917 Common Service Book, of the United Lutheran Church in America, each contain slightly different versions of the hymn; the Presbyterians present the 1860 version and the Lutherans print the 1869 version.  And the 1886 Presbyterian Hymnal, of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., prints three, not four verses.  Choose your version of the hymn.

I have chosen to search old hymnals in my effort to get as close as possible to the original words, or perhaps to those words.

I present the hymn according to The Hymnal (1895), Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.:

1.  Eternal Father, strong to save,

Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,

Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep:

O hear us when we cry to Thee

For those in peril on the sea.

2.  O Saviour, whose almighty word

The winds and waves submissive heard,

Who walkedst on the foaming deep

And calm amid its rage didst sleep:

O hear us when we cry to Thee

For those in peril on the sea.

3.  O sacred Spirit, who didst brood

Upon the chaos dark and rude,

Who bad’st its angry tumult cease,

And gavest light and life and peace:

O hear us when we cry to Thee

For those in peril on the sea.

4.  O Trinity of love and power,

Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;

From rock and tempest, fire and foe,

Protect them whersoe’er they go;

And ever let there rise to Thee

Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended   2 comments

Sao Paulo at Dusk

Image Source = Wikipedia

Hymn Source = The Hymnal 1982, of The Episcopal Church

Words by the Reverend  John Ellerton (1826-1893), a priest of the Church of England

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1.  The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,

the darkness falls at thy behest;

to thee our morning hymns ascended,

thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

2.  We thank thee that thy Church, unsleeping

while earth rolls onward into light,

through all the world her watch is keeping

and rests not now by day or night.

3.  As o’er each continent and island

the dawn leads on another day,

the voice of prayer is never silent,

nor dies the strain of praise away.

4.  So be it, Lord; thy throne shall never,

like earth’s proud empires, pass away;

thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,

till all thy creatures own thy sway.

Posted November 9, 2010 by neatnik2009 in All Day/Sleep 1800s, The Hymnal 1982 (1985)

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