Litany of Lament

Litany of Lament
Psalm 89:46-52

For Ukraine’s war, dear Lord, how long,
her cities bombed to dust?
Young children flee from Russia’s guns,
Lord, rescue those who trust!

Insurgents cause mayhem in towns
their weapons all spread fear.
They hold our cities hostages,
Will you, Lord, now appear?

Rich owners of the dirty mines
dig profits from the earth,
they vandalise our climate’s health,
Lord, bring the world new birth.

Some loathsome folk steal from the poor   
Their hearts all soaked in pride,
Our world divided by their greed,
Lord, show you’re on our side.

 It’s urgent, Lord, you now come near,
Why should you stay away?  
Dispel our doubts, dissolve our fear,
Turn to us, Lord, we pray!

  • Ted Witham tssf 2022

Metre: 8686. Tune: Martyrdom TiS 25
                                   or: St Peter TiS 485            

Alternative words to verse 1

For all at war, dear Lord, how long,
With cities bombed to dust?
Young children flee aggressors’ guns,
Lord, rescue those who trust!

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)


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


The beauty of Saint Clare of Assisi

Gifted with the true Light,
beauty is Clare’s life:
duty and delight to
mirror all God’s love.

Beauty in her dear soul —
deep serenity;
Poverty of life told
riches of God’s love.

Beauty with her Sisters,
Clare’s compassion,
passion to insist a
path for all to love.

Beauty in our planet,
Clare loved living things.
Sings so strongly. Fan it!
Worship God with love.

Beauty in her praying,
Clare holds up the Host,
Boasts in all of staying
with Him who died Love.

Following Saint Francis,
Clare marks out a way:
Pay your love to Jesus —
God surrounds with love.

Metre: 6565D Camberwell, “Puff the Magic Dragon”

Or 6565 Caswall

Ted Witham, The Feast of St Clare 2011

St Clare and her sisters

God in Embryo

God in embryo,
the Universal God
in the womb will grow
as our dear flesh and blood.

New-born baby boy,
Maker of every plan,
new life now deploys,
Human God – Divine Man.

Jesus frees and heals,
compassion is God’s mark;
all our cares he feels,
and lightens up our dark.

God now fixed on Cross,
his glory hid from view,
gains flow from his loss:
new life has come to you.

Tiny speck in womb,
and soon the Cosmic Lord:
Universe makes room –
Today we’re born with God.

Ted Witham 2010
Tune : 5656 ‘Bless the Lord My Soul’ (Taizé) TIS 706

Natal Microcosm (courtesy NASA)

Love, All Love

The heart of our God is love, all love;
Love fills the Universe with love.
The galaxies sway their loving song;
Each living cell beats out with love.

The heart of Jesus is love, all love;
He raised the lowly, embraced the poor;
He mends the broken and rises from dying,
Lives on to love for evermore.

The heart of Francis is love, all love;
Embraced the leper, clung to the Cross.
He sings in joy, he’s humble in loving;
God All in All, all else is loss.

The heart of living is love, all love;
Love fills our hearts, turns to the Son.
With bread and wine the love inside us,
We take this love to everyone.

Ted Witham 2010
Written for the WA Third Order Convocation 2010
Metre 9898 St Clement TIS 458
O Waly, Waly TIS 536

For This Amazing Day

For this amazing day,
we give you thanks, Most High,
for leaping green of trees,
and gazing blue of sky.
Love without end,
gift of our Friend,
Creator’s Son,
our Jesus Christ.

The love of dearest friends,
steadfast through every storm.
The stranger’s help in need,
all human care to warm.
Love every where,
gift that you share,
we give you thanks,
friend Jesus Christ.

*My wife’s sweet morning kiss,
her love my life inspires,
the way you join all this
to spiritual desires.
For her embrace,
sheer gift of grace,
I bless your love,
dear Jesus Christ.

Your Scriptures send us out
to serve all folk in need.
They draw us close to you,
and challenge to proceed.
For words of joy,
love to deploy,
peace to unfold,
Word, Jesus Christ.

Exalting power of faith,
its loving kindness shows.
It guides us all to walk
the way God loves and knows.
For faith’s true role’s
to lift the soul
in praise for love
to Jesus Christ.

Metre 6666.4444 “Darwall” TIS 108
©Ted Witham 2008
(thanks to e.e. cummings who inspired the first verse imagery)

Or “My husband’s morning kiss.” or omit this verse as appropriate.


Meelup Beach in Western Australia