Grace [Jingle Bells Version]


Grace (“Jingle Bells” Version)

God, yòu give living things
to eàt, and give us life,
give wìsdom as we sing
fìtting respect to bring.

On lìving things we feed,
they gìve themselves for all.
As they fulfil our needs
make gìving back our call.

Thank you, God! Thank you, God!
Food brings us new life!
Taste and eat! Appreciate
the life shared with us now. Hey! (Repeat):

In lìfe we feed on you
your Brèad and Wine our stay;
as yòu reveal your Way,
you màke us always new.

‘Eat whàt’s set before you,’
Sàint Francis did advise;
Nurturing God, for you
our thanks and praise arise.

Chorus

–          Ted Witham tssf, September 2013

Grace [Laude Domini version]


Grace (“Laudes Domini” version – AHB 217)
God, you give living things
to eat, and give us life,
to eat, and give us life,
give wisdom as we sing
fitting respect to bring.
fitting respect to bring.

On living things we feed,
they give themselves for all.
they give themselves for all.
As they fulfil our needs
make giving back our call.
make giving back our call.

In life we feed on you
your Bread and Wine our stay;
your Bread and Wine our stay;
as you reveal your Way,
you make us always new.
you make us always new.

‘Eat what’s set before you,’
Saint Francis did advise;
Saint Francis did advise;
Nurturing God for you
our thanks and praise arise.
our thanks and praise arise.

–    Ted Witham tssf, September 2013

Grace [Quam Dilecta version]


Grace (“Quam Dilecta” version
English Hymnal 508) )

God, you give living things
to eat, and give us life,
give wisdom as we sing
fitting respect to bring.

On living things we feed,
they give themselves for all.
As they fulfil our needs
make giving back our call.

In life we feed on you
your Bread and Wine our stay;
as you reveal your Way,
you make us always new.

‘Eat what’s set before you,’
Saint Francis did advise;
Nurturing God for you
our thanks and praise arise.

– Ted Witham tssf, September 2013

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary


We praise you, God, for your great saint
Elizabeth of Hungary:
the queen who gave her throne away
to learn to live in poverty.

Like your dear Son, she chose to not
take her great wealth as her just due:
with love, she emptied out her claim
and humbly meek, she followed you.

To serve her friends became her life,
she built a hospice for the poor;
she helped the sick, and left the court
to study God for evermore.

Franciscan friars taught her that
to love God is the highest call.
Not only did she serve her peers,
but now her life inspires us all.

Franciscan sisters in the West
honoured her name in Bunbury;
they helped new settlers make a life
in their hardship and poverty.*

Teach us, dear God, deep gratitude
for all the wealth you’ve given us.
Teach us to take the narrow way
that leads us to be generous.

Let us like saint Elizabeth
make serving God our highest aim.
We give ourselves for others’ need
to magnify Christ Jesus’ Name.

2012

* The Anglican Sisters of St Elizabeth of Hungary (OSEH) served in south-west Australia in the 20th Century. They earned the nickname “The Little Grey Sparrows“.

Metre: 88 88 “Morning Hymn” TiS 557, TH 11

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary – The Miracle of the Roses by Gustave Moreau

Hidden God


Lord, we do adore you; deep in love we’re falling.
You in bread, in wine, are hiding, heat as in the flame.
Lord, you feed us wholly, for our hearts you’re calling;
But, Lord, we’re nothing, nothing can we claim.

Taste and touch are failing; seeing is deceiving,
Only in the sense of hearing do we know it’s you.
I believe our God’s Word, memory retrieving
Truth from the Scriptures, Jesus tells it true.

On the cross you’re hiding, God as human here,
You are God and human, and both death and life exist.
I believe, and trusting that my faith is clear;
I pray the prayer of the terrorist*.

Thomas touched your woundings; those I cannot warrant.
My faith depends on trusting in the here and now.
Help me then to know you with a heart transparent,
Seek hope: I love you more in every hour.

Bread ignites our memory of our Maker dying.
Bread and wine are living, and burn with His life afire.
Help me journey forward on our God relying
And find the sweetness people all desire.

2012

*The two bandits crucified with Jesus were probably armed rebels, in today’s word, terrorists.

Paraphrase of Thomas Aquinas Adoro Te Devoto.
Metre: 11.10.11.10 Tune: Nicæa TiS 132

By Glory


By Glory

By glory at Christmas,
Raised into God’s light,
Child comes to his planet,
his hard cross in sight.

By glory the angels
praise this One who comes,
tell us that he’s living;
with shepherds we run.

By glory the Gospel,
God’s justice and care,
we love one another,
to do right we dare.

By glory this Jesus,
God’s Immanuel,
with joy as his future,
all darkness dispels.

By glory friend Francis
depicted the birth,
with cradle and oxen,
he joined him to earth.

By glory at midnight
built manger and stall,
and now infant Jesus
is worshipped by all.

Ted Witham
Christmas AD 2011

Metre: 11.11.11.11 anapaestic
(‘Cradle Song’ TiS 318 or ‘Thailand’ TiS 164)

Australian Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda)

When Time Was Set Anew – Christmas


When God’s creation first began,
the planets sing, in orbits go,
rocks and lizards praise One they know,
Word and Wisdom carry God’s plan.
When time was set anew for you,
God refreshed,
Word is born for you.

Women and men danced with their God,
Some loved God still, some lost ways trod –
some fought in hate, stuffed sick with greed.
Some turned their backs on all in need.
When time was set anew….

Then God’s wise Word was incarnate,
Jesus the Son, human-divine.
Word and Wisdom still made the sign:
God still forgives, new life creates.
When time was set anew….

So dear Saint Francis meant to show
the baby Jesus in manger there.
Word and Wisdom were full of care,
In loving Him, more love you’ll know.
When time was set anew….

 Jesus lives, him we choose to adore,
turn from our self-centredness,
in his good time, we will be blessed,
and dance with God for ever more.
When time was set anew…..

 Ted Witham Christmas 2011

Metre 88.88.88 Sussex Carol (TiS 300)
Melita (TiS 138)
St  Petersburg (TiS 375)

THe perichoresis (dance) of the Trinity - sub-atomic particles