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.

220px-parts_of_feather_modified

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


WILD BIRDS – HYMN FOR ST GEORGE’S DUNSBOROUGH

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

When the Bay mists with grey


When the Bay mists with grey
and your voice calls in squalls,
I praise your Name in awe.
When the loud swirling cloud
of the storm is your form,
I praise your Name in awe.

When our Star from afar
warms the day with its ray,
I praise your Name in joy.
When white and gold flash bold,
a wildflower shows your power,
I praise your Name in joy.

When the song sweet and strong
of a bird speaks your Word,
I praise your Name in awe.
When our friends kind acts send
and their care is a prayer,
I praise your Name in joy.

  • Ted Witham 2014
  • 666D ‘Laudes Domini’ (TIS 227)

IMG_0553

There is a place in Paradise


There is a place in Paradise

There is a place in Paradise
where fragrant love extends,
where lives are lived in right and truth
and God and you are friends.
* Where God and we, where God and we,
where God and we are friends.

There is a place in Paradise
where lives are stressed with doubt;
but even in the darkest time
a glorious hope spreads out.

There is a place in Paradise
Love goes beyond its ends,
fatigue burns out the toiling heart;
still there Christ’s love extends.

There is a place in Paradise
where Jesus is new born,
where Christians start their lives anew
your sinful past is torn.
* Our sinful past, our sinful past,
Our sinful past is torn.

There is a place in Paradise
where Christ still stoops to heal;
where needy folk can be transformed –
their full soul is revealed.
* Our full soul is, our full soul is,
Our full soul is revealed.

There is a place in Paradise
where Jesus meets the Cross;
where earth and heaven reconcile
and no good life is lost.

There is a place in Paradise
the Risen life shines bright,
past and future and the Now
set Universe alight.

There is a place in Paradise;
the sum of moments all
where each one lives in endless joy
and with all Christians call.
* Alleluia, alleluia,
we with all Christians call.

Ted Witham 2013

Metre 8686D or CMD (or 8686 or CM)
Brother James’s Air (Hymns  of Glory Songs of Praise 16.) The lines marked * are to fit the extended fourth line in Brother James’s Air.
Watson (HGSP 71)
Kingsfold (HGSP 291 or TiS 585)

Christ in Glory (courtesy Wikipedia Commons). 17th Century – from the Ethiopian Gospels (held in the British Library)