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

Profession


For Profession (as a member of the Third Order)

Before you, great High Priest, I stand
to make my true Profession.
I place my all in your strong hand;
my life as intercession.

You call me, Jesus, to your Way,
to walk with dedication.
You are my guidance and my stay
in every situation.

You teach me, Master, how to live
with joy in generous giving;
to help the needy and to give
our love and be forgiving.

We praise you that wise Francis now
may be our holy teacher.
His teachings and his actions show
a better way to meet you.

Now here we stand with honest heart
and mind to love you dearly.
Now bless the offering on our part
and live with me more nearly.

Ted Witham 2011

Metre: 87 87 Iambic

Dominus Regit Me TiS 145

St Columba TiS 523

Companions in Christ: St Francis and St Antony of Padua

The we and our in the final verse can be replaced by I and me if there is only one to be Professed.

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 Day of Penitence AD 2010


THE DAY OF PENITENCE

Lord, we present ourselves to you in penitence,
Following Francis in following you –
Finding the pathway that leads to obedience,
rev’rencing all things so hallowing You.

First, we would learn how to walk in humility;
Counting ourselves as no more than we are,
Living unselfishly brings its tranquillity,
To God’s dear humble ones, God’s love bends far.

Having less, using less, live in simplicity,
Living more lightly so others may live;
Exploring meanings of Franciscan poverty,
Stretching ourselves in the love that we give.

Trav’lling the path of a willing forgiveness,
Pard’ning ourselves and our neighbours and friends:
This is the penance that leads to deep blessedness,
Joy and the pleasures of life without end.

Metre: 12.10.12.10 dactylic
“Was Lebet” Together in Song 160
Ted Witham 2010

Francis at the Cross - sculpture at the Brothers' house in Brisbane, Australia