The Baptism of Jesus – a different hymn

The Sunday after Epiphany, when we mark the coming of the Magi to Jesus, is traditionally used to remember Jesus’ Baptism by John the Baptist. This hymn tells the story:

God is not partial: calls all the people, builds up the broken, comforts the frail, raises the fallen, walks with the outcast, loves without limits, love will not fail.
God joined the people: crowds John was calling, crowds by the river, turning around; turned by his preaching, turned by a conscience, turned by a gospel, suddenly found.
Humbly God joined them: Jesus John's cousin, strange, enigmatic, why would he come? John asked the question, Jesus was forthright, 'You must baptise me. This must be done'.
One with the people, Jesus was rising, out of the water, mission begun; light to the nations, eyes to the blinded, prisoners find freedom, 'this is my son'!
Andrew Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2010 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: 5 5 5 4 5 5 5 4 Tune: BUNESSAN

Hymn in commemoration of Desmond Tutu

This day we have witnessed a man for all people,
a man who was human, held fast what is right,
for this he has lived with profound dedication,
he shone in the world, don't extinguish that light.

And we who are human stand now in remembrance,
frail shadows of all he has shown we can be.
He not only preached, but embodied the values
that showed through his living that all can be free.

The man we remember has died, will be buried,
yet while we live justly his theme will not fall.
His spirit is living, will not be extinguished,
the love he embraced will be ever for all.

Words: Andrew Pratt (born 1948) text originally written for Nelson Mandela alt by the author © 2013/2021 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, 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.

A tension stalked the stage – another Advent/Christmas hymn

The gospel reading of the Fourth Sunday in Advent tells of the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth and Mary’s prophetic song which we know as the Magnificat (Luke 1: 39-55). This Sunday’s hymn reaches further than this. It has for its background an occupied country, a census involving a journey and the song of a young woman which anticipates the birth of a child who will bring radical challenge and change to the world – if only we would hear and follow him…

A tension stalked the stage, 
an occupying force, 
and in this context Mary sang. 
The world could alter course.
Once humbled by her God, 
demeaned, yet she felt blessed, 
her life now mingled joy and pain, 
from now she'd never rest.

And those in every age 
are challenged by her song, 
the paupers free to pray again - 
for those who did them wrong;
while princes are appalled,
for those who once held power 
will find their status racked right down, 
and that within this hour.

For where injustice meets 
with worship lived and prayed, 
the social order swings around, 
the powerful are dismayed;
and that includes us all, 
our power is sapped away, 
while genuine humility 
at last will have its day.

Andrew E Pratt 
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: DSM
Tune: LEOMINSTER

Hymn responding to Greta Thunberg ahead of and following COP 26 – Blue planet, rising, soaring through the cosmos – Now with a new tune by Frances S. Drake

Blue planet, rising, soaring through the cosmos,
was lent in trust for us to tend and care
while children, young in wisdom, call in anguish, 
for all they see now fills them with despair.
The wonder of the sky has drawn us upwards, 
our eyes diverted by the moon and stars, 
and as we dream we lose our moral compass, 
and in our greed we grasp creation, call it ours.


Time runs away, our life on earth is finite, 
young prophets calling, needing us to act 
are crying out, lamenting for our planet, 
while ‘adults’ sleep, denying fear and fact.
Still others stand, immune, ignore the future, 
absolved from fault for all that comes to pass.
When will we grasp the need for urgent action, 
see clearly, not net curtained, or through frosted glass?


While sands of time run down, are gone and finished, 
in fear of change we hanker for the past, 
but life on earth is threatened by inaction, 
as lethargy and greed resist and last. 
Good God forgive us for each fault and faction, 
unwillingness to change to save this earth. 
God give us ears to hear the words of wisdom 
that we might save this planet, cradle of our birth.


Andrew Pratt 29/10/2021 – Responding to Greta Thunberg 
ahead of and following COP 26.

Words © 2021 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.
Metre: 11.10.11.10.11.10.11.12
Tune: BLUE PLANET RISING; LONDONDERRY AIR
BLUE PLANET RISING – AUDIO – Copyright Frances S. Drake

Hidden Saints – a hymn for All Saints

1	She had sewn her life with sadness
	Of the thread that joined each part;
	Now she weaves the song of gladness,
	Now rejoices in her heart.
	Though her fingers, bent, were crippled,
	Though her mind was taught with pain,
	Now as heaven's ether ripples,
	She has grasped a greater gain.

2	He had plumbed the shafts of wonder,
	Dug the coal from earth's dark veins;
	Now the darkness ripped asunder,
	Tells that more than life remains.
	Though his were lungs were torn with crying,
	Though his flesh was bruised and scarred,
	Now he soars, to glory climbing,
	Shares the loud angelic chord.

3	He had worked and toiled and worried
	At the tasks he undertook,
	He had hurtled, rushed and hurried
	Giving life no second look.
	Now at last the task is finished,
	Now the day is dead and gone,
	Urgency has been relinquished,
	Satisfied he joins the song.
	
4	We had seen a body lying,
	One we loved, as still as death;
	Now by faith, that death defying,
	Through God's resurrection breath
	Heaven now is more than story,
	Love is more than want or gain.
	Saints are carolling the glory
	Of the God they know by name.
	
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 1997 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.
Metre: 8 7 8 7 D Trochaic
Tune: HYFRYDOl