A poem for Holocaust Memorial Day

A poem for Holocaust Memorial Day, 27th January, and going forward. Today we still need to remember our human capacity for inhumanity, that the Holocaust took place in a democratic country with a democratically elected government, and still within living memory. Remember, many of the perpetrators saw themselves as ‘Christian’.


1 As we remember holocaust,
in horror disbelieving
the history of the human race,
we share each other's grieving;
God purge us of hypocrisy,
of all our self-deceiving.

2 Our language is inadequate,
unfit for the expression
of hatred that we visualise,
humanity's confession;
we hurry headlong into hell,
we witness love's regression.

3 The deepest, distant agony
that throbs through all creation,
the silent tears that quietly fall
in every generation,
are signs of our humanity,
our need for re-creation.

4 God give us strength to make a pledge
to move beyond contention,
to see, in each, humanity.
Through greater good intention,
God, move us toward a purer love,
a gracious intervention.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2003 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.




Hymn for Holocaust Memorial Day – 27th January

1	Deep contradictions, not cosy solutions,
	come when our faith and experience collide.
	Pain and its purpose, the holocaust's image,
	loving and hurting, are found side by side.

2	Here in the tension of unresolved conflict,
	logic and passion will vie for each heart;
	here in life's crucible, melting and moulding,
	God has a purpose and we play a part.

3	Here, where the spirit is forging, transforming
	lives that are open to challenge and change;
	God in each paradox fathoms potential,
	source of the pattern we measure and range.
	
Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2008 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:11 10 11 10
Tune: EPIPHANY HYMN



Holocaust Memorial hymn – In these days as we remember

In these days as we remember
torture, holocaust and fear,
hear our prayer, our supplication,
wrung from hearts, soaked by each tear.
Tears have flooded through our nations,
pain has racked and broken lives,
now we vow to show through action
our compassion still survives.

If the voice of God is silent,
if disciples cease to speak,
then the voiceless and rejected
know the way ahead is bleak.
Let our faith be known in action,
in our depth of love and care,
in our choice identifying
with our neighbours in despair.

When the strength of our resistance
to the evil that we see
shows itself in selfless giving
of our lives then we are free,
free of cant and self-deception,
of hypocrisy and pride,
for we greet as sisters, brothers,
those that others would deride.

Andrew Pratt 22/1/2020
Words © 2020 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: CALON LAN; ST WINIFRED

 

Holocaust

The silence…

palpable

tourists alight…
silence deafens,
like Buddhists, walking, shedding no footfall,
slipper footed it seemed.

The air was light,
the breeze slight,
yet every heart was heavy.

Rows of sheds…
empty.
Tiers of planks named ‘bed’ where bodies had lain:

Nameless.
Objects of a crude economy,
measured and managed,
pulled,
pushed,
directed.

Objects transported to where we were standing.
No looking back.
The end of the line.

The silence…palpable…

We left…
silence…
never more
in peace

For Holocaust Sunday 27th January 2019 © Andrew Pratt

birchenau