Advent 1 – hymn – This is the time of waiting

Advent – a time of waiting – more than a calendar with sweets, more than an extra candle lit each Sunday, perhaps a time to move from darkness into light, from penitence to praise?

A hymn inspired by Isaiah 2:2

2:2 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.

1	This is the time of waiting,
	the calm before the storm,
	the time of Advent judgement,
	the coming of the dawn;
	a time of recollection,
	of Christ's audacious hope,
	beyond imagination,
	outside our human scope.

2	The nations will be gathered,
	the age will be fulfilled,
	the judgement be enacted,
	as Christ had hoped and willed.
	But for this consummation
	such birth-pangs will be felt, 
	like rupturing of wine-skins, 
	the earth will heave and melt. 

3	For love to be exalted, 
	for hatred to be banned, 
	our human goals must shatter,
	division must be spanned. 
	A change of mind is needed 
	as we are turned around, 
	to move from desecration, 
	to find love's solid ground. 

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2018 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: 7 6 7 6 D
Tune: AURELIA

Christ the King? What sort of king? And a hymn…

The Sunday before the First Sunday of Advent is recognised in some churches as the Feast of Christ the King. We might sing ‘King of Kings, Majesty’. But what a strange King, his crown, a crown of thorns…Luke 23: 33-43.

1	A carpenter hung on a cross, 
	a rough-hewn cross of wood, 
	while people satisfied by rage 
	had never understood.
	This man had met the arguments 
	of those who sought to rule 
	with kindness, gentleness and love: 
	they marked him as a fool.

2	He challenged values, long held rites, 
	that bound the world they knew, 
	he sought to point them back to God. 
	For this they'd curse and sue.
	The trumped up charges that they brought, 
	designed to bring him down,
	resulted in this spectacle, 
	this cross and thorny crown.

3	And through the centuries that passed 
	the ones who called him 'good', 
	have tried to make some sense of this, 
	have rarely understood.
	And now we stand again to mark 
	the passing of this day, 
	to struggle still to understand, 
	love's sacrificial way.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2016 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
CMD
8 6 8 6 D
Tune: SOLLS SEIN
As published in Seedresources http://www.theworshipcloud.com .  Art: iPad Art © Andrew Pratt 2022  




	

Our responsibility to be stewards of the earth – Hymn – The care of our planet

In between All Souls, All Saints and Remembrance Sunday we are witness to COP 27, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, beginning on the Sunday 6th November. This is an international meeting which the UK has chaired. We are handing the Chair to Egypt and for various reasons our Prime Minister has indicated he will not attend it. King Charles has been advised not to attend. This hymn, written in 2019 and used last year in Durham Cathedral emphasises our responsibility to be stewards of the creation (Psalm 8: 6-8).

1 The care of our planet, the threat of extinction, 
alerts us to need to be stewards of the earth: 
this place of great beauty, our God given tenure, 
the place of our nurture, the globe of our birth. 

2 This place we must guard for each new generation, 
to leave as we found it or, better, restored; 
to share each resource without greed or pretension, 
not barring the needy, not plunder, nor hoard. 

3 The banquet of God is for all of God's people, 
communion companions are both rich and poor, 
our ultimate end will remove all distinctions, 
no birth right or creed can obstruct heaven's door. 

4 God's commonwealth love can encompass all nations, 
but here in this place we must all make a start: 
a life of acceptance of sister and brother, 
the practice of loving, a God given art. 

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) 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.

Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO; ST CATHERINE'S COURT

Used at Durham Cathedral on Climate Sunday, 17th October 2021.

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).