Hymn for Jack Winslow – writer of the Third Order Rule: Feast Day 29 May

You teach us not to live for self
but to reach out to all;
Open our eyes to dawn’s bright rays
Community our call.

You gave Jack Winslow the insight
that makes fraternity:
And through our eyes see dawn’s bright rays
On our community.

With eloquence and phrases wise
Jack Winslow’s pen did write:
So may our eyes bask in dawn’s rays –
Community’s delight .

Today we come to praise our God;
Our Rule inscribes our heart:
With dawn we realise joy’s rays
Community impart.

  • Ted Witham tssf 2021

Metre: 8686 St Botolph TiS 223
                        Lucius TiS 442(ii)
                         Crimond TiS 10

Jack Winslow loved Job 3:9 so much that he used the image for the title of his ‘memories, reflections and hopes’, The Eyelids of the Dawn (Hodder & Stoughton, 1954)  
Let the stars of its twilight be dark, Let it wait for light, and there is none, And let it not look on the eyelids of the dawn.
Job 3:9 (Young’s Literal Translation)

Hymn for St Brendan

Hymn to Saint Brendan
Feast Day – May 16

Voyager, our patron Brendan
sailed through seas to search for God.
Voyagers, Christians of Warnbro,
follow him along the road.

Brendan, hero and God-seeker,
Now we praise our God for you!
Brendan, hermit and prayer-speaker,
Teach us how to search like you.

Navigate the way of Jesus,
Find out how to bear the cross,
Piloting from sin to glory
Daring all, not count the cost.

Trav’lling where the current carried,
Brendan left the course to God,
Sometimes turning in a circle,
Sometimes finding new abodes.

Now we know that Brendan landed
on the New World’s distant beach,
Awesome sights and skies unbounded
Never are beyond God’s reach.

Brendan, saint and our companion,
Teach us how we are to cede
lives and worries to God’s keeping,
Blessed with Jesus in the lead.

– Ted Witham 2021

Metre 8787 8787 Blaenwern
or ‘The Carnival is Over’

See Her Weeping Hard Hot Tears

See her weeping hard hot tears,
Grieving for her only Son,
Shrinking as they plunge their spears
Killing human Three in One.

As they hammer hands to hardwood,
Nail the body, crush the bone,
Mary feels in her the sorrow,
A sword of her very own.

All of us have loved a mother,
and been loved by her in turn,
As we watch the Saviour suffer,
Mary’s suffering we can learn.

So how sad and quietly moaning
Was the Mother at the Cross,
Dignity her anguish owning
In her catastrophic loss.

Who among us watching Christians
Does not weep as Mary mourns?
Who is so cold and hard-hearted
Not to feel the Paschal thorns?

Standing by your side, dear Mother,
May we share your love of Christ,
Count the death of our dear Brother
As God’s generous sacrifice.  

Stabat Mater Dolorosa, attributed to Friar Jacapone (Crazy Jim) da Todi (ca. 1230 – 1306)
Paraphrase by Ted Witham tssf © 2021

Metre: 8787
Cross of Jesus TiS 136
or 8787D
Abbot’s Leigh TiS 153

New Eternal Breath

A Hymn for Easter

Christ is risen! He’s been sprung
from the once locked prison of death.
Christ is risen to be sung
With our new eternal breath.  

Christ is ris’n! Women and men;
animals on farm and wild,
Christ is ris’n! Magpie and wren,
voice of life, sing to God’s Child.  

Christ is ris’n! With cosmic power,
the old order overturned,
Christ is ris’n! Aleph and Taw,
For us endless life has earned.  

Christ is ris’n! Noongar* and white
in Christ’s death are reconciled.
Christ is risen! All made right,
God’s life-giving power has smiled.  

  • * or Koori, or black folk 
  • Ted Witham  2018 
  • 7777 (Savannah TiS 219(i), Easter Hymn (with alleluias))  


Cosmic resurrection. Image: Duston Lyon







Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony of Padua, preach across Italian towns:
Yes, your voice is the sweetest
Tells of God’s love coming down.
Saint Anthony of Padua, faith-filled, still your smile survives:
Your loyal life is the dearest
shows God’s love will fill our lives.

Preach that love is in the clear.
Preach that Jesus Christ is dear.

Saint Anthony of Padua, God’s power loved to heal through you:
Followed dear father Francis,
He showed Jesus Christ to you.

Preach it far! Preach it near! Preach it clear!

Saint Anthony of Padua, sweet voice sounds across the years,
Saint Anthony of Padua,
heals the Church from all its tears.


  • Ted Witham tssf, St Anthony of Padua, June 13, 2017
  • To the tune of Three Coins in the Fountain.

The music score (with my words) in a low key can be found here.

A poor quality sound recording can be accessed by clicking the thumbnail. 




Breath on a Feather

Hymn for Epiphany

You Lord of grace, you’re breath on a feather,
You inspire us to care, adore;
Your breath helps us to praise together,
Our song, just our song, makes us more.

You Lord of grace, you’re barbs of a feather,
Strengthen our lives with love’s surprise;
Your longing heart helps us to tether
Ourselves to you, you improvise.

You Lord of grace, you’re shaft of a feather,
You hold us tall whate’er the storm;
You teach us to hold your standards to treasure,
Upright in virtue we transform.

You Lord of grace, you are the whole vane,
You let us fly to love’s true height;
We feel your guidance your will ascertaining:
Obedience now makes you shine bright.

  • Ted Witham 2017
  • 9898 St Clement, O Waly Waly.


Parts of a feather:

  1. Vane
  2. Rachis
  3. Barb
  4. Afterfeather
  5. Hollow shaft, calamus

Gaze on the Mirror of Eternity

Gaze upon the Lord of love,
gaze upon his face of grace;
gaze upon the living One
who holds you in close embrace.

Gaze upon the Lord of love,
gaze upon his coming poor
from the highest of the heavens
to our lowly earthly shore.

Look upon his loving way,
look upon his open heart,
look upon his sacred cross,
from death’s dust to bring new start.

If you learn from suffering,
If you open to life’s pain,
and allow your heart to weep,
then with him you’ll always reign.

Gaze upon the Lord’s dear cross,
the wounds of each day’s love,
Gaze on his life, and know the
splendours of God’s heav’n above.

  • Adapted from St Clare of Assisi and the Irish Province OFM
  • Sing to The Carnival is Over
    NOTE: To sing the last stanza, repeat the last 8 bars of the music,
    i.e. from Bar 25 to the second ending.
  • Or leave out the last four lines of the words.

Wild Birds


We are God’s good people of St George’s,
God’s folk of ocean capes and bays.
We are all worshipping our Saviour,
serving our God through all of our days.

We all take joy from wide-winged osprey
who fly so high, and then go higher:
their praise, their joy and their exultation
will lift up our hearts and so inspire.

We lift our eyes to curlew sandpipers
who cross the seas to nest and feed:
in freedom they set out on their long journeys,
and for their faith God meets their need.

O Holy Spirit, teach us to be wild birds,
to fly with you, praise from the heart:
to follow with courage, to cherish the journey,
so living and trusting to take our part.

  • Ted Witham, Pentecost 2015
  • Metre 98 98 (St Clement)
  • Curlew sandpiper. Migrating annually from the Arctic to SW Australia

    Back in the early 1990s, the late Bob Waterhouse, a priest friend, wrote a song for his parish, The Wild Geese. I thought it might be good to sing this song for Pentecost 2015 at St George’s in Dunsborough. But Fr Bob’s words are specific to St Matthew’s, and the wild geese are not native to Dunsborough. So, inspired by Bob’s song, I gifted the song below to the parish of Dunsborough, who sung it for the first time with appropriate devotion.

    Cape Naturaliste via Dunsborough

WIde-winged eastern osprey

Those Who Wait Upon Our God

Let us sing before our God
to hear each one’s harmony,
Let us make a choir of joy
and like the birds join melody.

Those who wait upon our God
shall rise up like birds in flight,
Those who quiet their hearts in praye
r shall be so filled with delight.

Let us come before our God
meditating in quiet prayer,
Let us keep our minds in peace:
Holy Spirit more aware.

With Saint Francis as our guide
in prayers let’s gaze on our Lord:
With Saint Clare who lifts the bread
faith with courage to record.

Let us turn to each in love
strengthened with God’s living grace,
Binding up the poor and lost,
Bringing love to every place.

Those who wait upon our God
shall rise up like birds in flight,
Those who quiet their hearts in prayer
shall be so filled with delight.

Ted Witham 2014

77.77 Monkland TiS 83

Eagles’ Wings

Where eagles’ wings lift to that place beyond fear
and where God’s still clear calm protects all from harm
and where God walks with all year by longing year;
it’s there that God’s perfect love casts out our fear.

Where eagles’ wings rise to that place beyond hate
and where God’s close embrace is God’s gift of grace
and where in our loved ones God chooses to meet;
it’s there that God’s perfect love casts out our fear.

When eagles’ wings tempt us to cut our love short,
But no! Feed and help grow all those who’re in need;
For all are your sisters, your brothers, we’re taught,
it’s there that God’s perfect love casts out our fear.

So eagles’ wings soar to that place where we view
the endless bright new scan of worlds in God’s plan
whose Maker our Saviour is adored anew;
it’s there that God’s perfect love casts out our fear.

Ted Witham 2014

11 11 11 11 St Denio

wedge tailed eagle