All Saints – All Souls – Remembrance



The 1st of November is All Saints Day; the 3rd All Souls Day. As we enter this period, culminating for many on the 11th November with Remembrance Day, and the 13th Remembrance Sunday, this hymn might be helpful for we who mourn, who remember those who have died.

Some churches will recognise All Souls this coming Sunday. This hymn was originally requested for remembrance of people who had died of kidney disease and later included in a book: Hymns of Hope and Healing.



The lives we mourn have known their share of heartache,
of human fear, uncertainty and shock,
and yet we also shared in love and laughter,
our memories hold solid as a rock;
for on through time remembrance will be treasured,
we'll keep it close when joy is tinged with pain,
we'll never lose the smiles that sign togetherness,
and day to day we know that love will still remain.


We never know what waits in life's uncertainty,
we never know what love, what joy, what fear,
can build us up, or leave us lost and comfortless,
afraid to face, again, the coming year,
yet here are people who can hold their hands with us,
can walk with us into the great unknown,
and so together we can walk the path of life,
and know that when we stumble love will still be shown.


So take my hand, my friend, my neighbour, walk with me,
together we can face the passing storm,
and know with God, in spite of tears and emptiness,
there is a sense that new love can be born.
In this we trust, for through our grief God held to us,
and human arms have caught us when we fell,
beyond this day each dawn will bring new hope for us
that through God's love and grace and care all will be well.


Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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
Metre: 12 10 12 1012 10 12 12
Tune LONDONNERY AIR



Hymn at a time when people feel excluded – God, save us from the platitudes

God values all – Joel 2: 28 – 29 – hymn at a time when people feel excluded. The prophet Joel said: 
28 Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
1	God, save us from the platitudes, 
	the empty prayers and hollow praise
	that blind us to hypocrisy
	of every thoughtless word or phrase.
	O take us, mend us, make us one 
	until your work on earth is done. 
	
2	When pride and selfishness demand
	our rights when others suffer hurt,
	when greed and use of wealth exploit
	and push our neighbours in the dirt
	yes, take us, mend us, make us one 
	until your work on earth is done. 
	
3	Within a world of fear-built walls 
	of colour, social class or creed,
	God, help us look with Christ-lit eyes
	for Christ within another's need;
	O, take us, mend us, make us one 
	until your work on earth is done. 
	
4	O God of fundamental grace 
	in which your church has grown and stands,
	great God of self-denying love 
	may hatred die in every land.
	Yes, take us, mend us, make us one 
	until your peace on earth is won.
	
5	Then graceful hospitality
	may welcome angels unaware,
	until your all inclusive love
	spans though all time, is everywhere,
	for by your grace we now are one,
	your hope is gained, your work is done.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2011 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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
Metre: 8 8 8 8 8 8
Tune: ABINGDON 

Out beyond our understanding – a hymn inspired by Graham Adams’ book – Holy Anarchy

Rev Dr Graham Adams, of the Luther King Centre, has written a book entitled Holy Anarchy. Graham summarises the book here. The heart of Jesus’ vision is a reality he called the kingdom of God - 'a realm in which all dynamics of domination, not least in the church, are subverted'.
So this is Holy Anarchy of which Adams writes and in this hymn/poem I have been inspired by this vision.

Out beyond our understanding

Out beyond our understanding, 
holy ‘truths’ that have us bound,  
Holy Anarchy is waiting: 
shakes, disturbing what we’ve found. 
Strands beyond our human measure 
test what’s certain, where we stand, 
draw us out beyond our treasure 
to an unknown holy land.

Far from what we thought was certain, 
bound by darkness, hid by light, 
dare we risk this strange adventure, 
dream-like drifting, endless flight? 
Might we yet glimpse sense and purpose, 
seeming distant, yet so near, 
here within our present context, 
such a love as casts out fear?

More than we at first envisaged, 
broader than our widest scope, 
challenging our firm conceptions, 
thoughts on which we’ve placed our hope:  
this will strain imagination, 
take us from our comfort zone, 
seem like some incarnate chaos, 
nothing like we’ve ever known.

Andrew Pratt
Words © 2022 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.
Tune: DIM ON IESU (a Welsh tune to reflect Graham's background)
Words inspired by Holy Anarchy, SCM, Graham Adams (2022). 

Wrestling with God – Genesis 32: 22-31 – a hymn

Genesis 32: 22-31 Tells the story of an enigmatic stranger wresting with Jacob by a brook called The Jabbok. It is a story of crisis and decision, of Jacob a meeting with God, finding his vocation. Charles Wesley told the story in the hymn ‘Come, O thou traveller unknown’. It runs to 12 verses! You may not have sung it in its entirety.

This hymn is somewhat shorter…

1          Wrestling stranger met with Jacob,
            struggled onward till the morn,
            struggled by the brook of Jabbok,
            heralding a different dawn.
           
2          Jacob met the task with courage,
            and it seemed he would prevail,
            but the stronger, wrestling stranger,
            made him limp, God could not fail.
           
3          What the struggle? Why the wrestling?
            Was it real or human doubt?
            Jacob gained self realization,
            how he’d work his purpose out.
           
4          Nameless God now blessing Jacob,
            Israel went on from that place,
            Holy ground, for this was special,
            here he’d met God face to face.

Andrew Pratt (born 1948)

Words © 2011 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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
Metre: 8 7 8 7. Tune: ALL FOR JESUS

Jesus heals a leper – a hymn

Jesus heals a leper – a hymn

One of this week’s lectionary readings Luke 17: 11-19 tells of Jesus meeting some lepers. He heals them…

17:14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean.
17:15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.

Only one offered thanks and so…

1 Strange how those, the least expected,
offer thanks for acts of grace;
while so many take for granted
costly gifts as common place.

2 Children take the care we offer,
never know what love has cost,
soon they grow in independence,
soon the bonds of birth seem lost.

3 But are our lives any better?
God has many things to give,
yet we also take for granted
all that feeds the lives we live.

4 Let us learn to grasp the treasure
that is given to our hands,
life and healing, joy and pleasure,
all that loving understands.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2013 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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
8 7 8 7 Trochaic

Tune: LOVE DIVINE (Stainer)