As the Commonwealth Games begin, a hymn for reflection

The Commonwealth was built more on the spread of the British Empire than sharing all things in common – wealth was not common but often taken by the rich from the poor. The Games, however, ideally, offer the opportunity for us to come together, hopefully, in a more equal way even if we still need to heal the hurt of colonialism.

1 A commonwealth of love
where all are held by grace,
it seems idyllic on the page,
could it infect this place?
Within that upper room
were people just like us,
but meeting Christ in faith and love
transformed their depth of trust.

2 And when we meet with God
we cannot but be changed,
for God confronts our doubt and fear
as lives are rearranged.
This day the change begins,
the vision is fulfilled,
and life will never be the same
where love can be distilled.

3 So let us grasp this hope
that set the world alight,
that love can never be destroyed
and fear is put to flight.
A commonwealth of love:
let’s risk a seed of grace
to bring this vision into life
within each time and place.

Andrew E Pratt

Words © 2012 © 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: FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

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




A hymn for this time…Ukraine, Russia, NATO, the world…and its people…

As we move towards Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Lent, a moment to pause. By the time you read this the tension in Ukraine may have eased or increased. Let this be a moment to remember that our faith has a worldwide perspective as we share words written in Poland while listening to a lecture by Joachim Waloszek on Polish hymns.

1	The words we sing are wrung from broken hearts, 
	are formed within the soil of time and place, 
	are rooted in our history and this time, 
	yet ring with changeless mystery and grace. 
	
2	Our treasure is the very grace of God, 
	the pearl that we would lose our lives to hold,
	this gift we guard with frail yet gentle hands, 
	to share among God's people young or old.
	
3	We sing with others met along the way 
	who speak our language or another tongue, 
	who walk beside us on the road to heaven,
	who stumble, fly or fall till life is won.
	
4	The words we sing now whisper sighs of joy, 
	transcending all we fear within this place, 
	they ring with endless, everlasting hope, 
	they celebrate the freedom of God's grace.

Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2009 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 in relation to the killing of George Floyd, USA – WITH A NEW TUNE – and AUDIO

The will for domination leaves carnage in its wake,
as neighbours are berated, while peace and justice quake.
A dream once spoke of freedom, embodied hope and grace,
now all of that is challenged, with hatred in its place.

Hostility is breeding as loving is outlawed.
Hypocrisy and violence once left a saviour floored.
So what is there to save us when leaders lose all sense?
When governments are faulted, we daren’t sit on the fence?

Our common human nature, the seed of human love,
must hold us at the centre beyond the push and shove,
must live beyond this moment, must meet each human need,
when other things divide us, while neighbours die or bleed.

God bind our lives together, fulfil our living dream,
that hearts might cleave together beyond each human scheme,
that love might reign triumphant in every human heart.
Now is the time for building, the time for us to start.

Andrew Pratt 2/6/2020
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.
Metre: 7.6.7.6. D set as 13.13.13.13
Tune: AURELIA; CRUGER; PASSION CHORALE;

NEW TUNE SETTING BY JOHN KLEINHEKSEL

Click link for setting:  Pratt.v.Will.4.Domination.George.FloydPratt.v.Will.4.Domination.George

Click link to access audio:

Audio

 

I vow to love my neighbour, whatever race or creed – a hymn for love and unity

I vow to love my neighbour, whatever race or creed,
to join her in her suffering, to plead with him in need.
This love will always question, will search out right and wrong,
will give itself for justice, for those who don’t belong.
This love will never falter, till every soul is free,
till nations held in bondage can sing of liberty.

Through scenes of devastation, through famine, drought and war,
we’ll work in ways of gentleness, work hard till we restore
the vision of the people, the hope of human grace,
till nations dwell in peacefulness together in this place;
till all the world together can sing in joyful praise
till all have found communion together in our days.

Andrew E. Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2004 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.
13 13 13 13 13 13
Tune: THAXTED