God is crying mid the carnage – a hymn at the time of Ukrainian Christmas

God is crying mid the carnage 
of a thousand broken bones; 
in the dust and fallen rubble 
of our long discarded homes.
 
Where our children play out stories 
of the visions they have seen, 
God is weeping over losses, 
knowing just what might have been.
 
What if love instead of horror 
filled the passion of our lives, 
could these stories be re-written 
where humanity survives?
 
God still with us, God among us, 
sow new seeds of love through grace; 
help us look at one another 
building hope in every place.
Andrew Pratt (8/1/2023)

Words © 2023 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
Tunes: CROSS OF JESUS (Stainer); LAUS DEO (Redhead)

Written after listening to the BBC Radio 4 Sunday Service on 8/1/2023 ‘The message that Ukraine is trying to convey to the world as it celebrates its own Christmas Day’.

The programme posed the question, 'Where is God' in this war?

See also We hear the news in anguish
- Thoughts on pacifism
- God's on our side



Remembrance – Once crimson poppies bloomed out in a foreign field

Once crimson poppies bloomed
out in a foreign field,
each memory reminds
where brutal death was sealed.
The crimson petals flutter down,
still hatred forms a thorny crown.

For in this present time
we wait in vain for peace;
each generation cries,
each longing for release,
while war still plagues the human race
and families seek a hiding place.
           
How long will human life
suffer for human greed?
How long must race or pride,
wealth, nationhood or creed
be reasons justifying death
to suffocate a nation’s breath?
           
For everyone who dies
we share a quiet grief;
the pain of loss remains,
time rarely brings relief:
and so we will remember them
and heaven sound a loud amen.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2012 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: 6 6 6 6 8 8 Tune: LITTLE CORNARD

Great God we need your present grace – a hymn at the time of the resignation of Boris Johnson

Great God we need your present grace,
for honesty’s been shaken.
We need integrity and truth,
enliven and awaken
a seam of trust, a sense of faith,
while life is so uncertain,
the future hidden from our sight,
opaque behind a curtain.

God give a calm and steady hand,
unshackled by ambition,
to challenge hatred and distrust,
yet not employ derision.
Give us the time to act and learn,
to unify this nation,
a place where all might live as one
in spite of rank or station.

Is it too much for us to build
in gracious love and living,
a place to care, not built on greed,
but generous in giving,
where children grow in peace with hope,
as sister and as brother,
that, hand in hand, within this world
we’ll live with one another.
Metre: 8787D iambic
Tune: CONSTANCE (Sullivan)

Andrew Pratt 7/7/2022 – Responding to the resignation of Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party
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.

We hear the news in anguish – hymn at time of Russian invasion of Ukraine with a link to a recording of the hymn with lyrics made by Gareth Moore

We hear the news in anguish to know what has been done, 
the cameras and recordists show hatred being spun,
the sound of rockets falling fill broadcasts round the earth,
Great God, what are we doing while children come to birth?


Our aspirations shudder, our hopes become as dust,
through war machines are broken, dismembered, turned to rust.
Our conversations stutter, our talks of peace – hot air,
Great God, may acts of justice grow from the seeds of prayer.


No place is ever neutral when hatred fuels the fire,
humanity unites us, let love be our desire.
Join hands across the barriers that other hands have made,
until your world is mended and violence has been stayed.


Andrew Pratt 28/2/2022 Written while watching the Russian-Ukraine conflict.
Words © 2022 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.
Tune: KING’S LYNN; O SACRED HEAD SORE WOUNDED has also been suggested by Judy Ford.

A video prepared for SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE is available here with thanks to Pam Rhodes and Gareth Moore (to be broadcast Sunday 20th March 2022 at 1800 hours UK)

Listen to reflections for Ukraine based on some of my texts on Premier Christian Radio is available on Freeview channel 725. Sunday 13th March 2022 0800 hours (UK)

A video recording of the hymn by Gareth Moore is available here


Other resources also available at Singing the Faith plus