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

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)

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.


* 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

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

Australian Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda)

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

The Stigmata

When Francis our father received the stigmata,
he climbed up Averna and prayed from the heart.
With all his believing, he now is receiving
the marks on his body of being in Christ.

So first there is Moses, who on our God closes
by opening his life to the power of the law.
He follows obeying, and does what God’s saying:
the marks on his body of being in Christ.

And next there is Jesus who brightness releases.
On Carmel he’s climbing and shines in the light.
The truth that he’s revealing, with serving we’re sealing
the marks on our body of being in Christ.

So when our Saint Francis on Averna dances,
He turns to the Lord and is won by the Cross.
Obeying and seeing, and turning and freeing
the marks on his body of being in Christ.

Now we who are living find joy in thanksgiving.
We seek out a place to pause and to pray.
The love that we’re gaining is expressed with pain in
the marks on our body of being in Christ.

This hymn was inspired by Moses’ experience of the glory of God when he climbed Mount Sinai. This is described in Exodus 24:12-18 set for the Old Testament reading for the Stigmata (in the Australian Third Order Manual).

The metre of the hymn is and the words were written to fit the tune “Kremser” (Together in Song 107).  It can also be sung to the “Ash Grove” (Together in Song 531) (either repeat verse 1 at the end, or start verse 5 from line 5 of the music to fit “The Ash Grove”).

© Ted Witham tssf, Stigmata 2007

The Stigmatizing of St Francis - Caravaggio

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