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!

Hymn for St Brendan

Hymn to Saint Brendan
Feast Day – May 16

Voyager, our patron Brendan
sailed through seas to search for God.
Voyagers, Christians of Warnbro,
follow him along the road.

Brendan, hero and God-seeker,
Now we praise our God for you!
Brendan, hermit and prayer-speaker,
Teach us how to search like you.

Navigate the way of Jesus,
Find out how to bear the cross,
Piloting from sin to glory
Daring all, not count the cost.

Trav’lling where the current carried,
Brendan left the course to God,
Sometimes turning in a circle,
Sometimes finding new abodes.

Now we know that Brendan landed
on the New World’s distant beach,
Awesome sights and skies unbounded
Never are beyond God’s reach.

Brendan, saint and our companion,
Teach us how we are to cede
lives and worries to God’s keeping,
Blessed with Jesus in the lead.

– Ted Witham 2021

Metre 8787 8787 Blaenwern
or ‘The Carnival is Over’

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

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.


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

Paraphrase of Thomas Aquinas Adoro Te Devoto.
Metre: 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: 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



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.

Shout for Life to the Day


[Hail thee festival day]

 Verses by Venantius Honoris Fortunatus


Shout for life to the day,

When Jesus leaped out of the closed grave.

Sing at the top of your voice

Calling the world to rejoice.


1 (A). See the first rains of the year,

From the dryness of summer refreshing.

Every new sign of life,

Now with its Master returns.



2. (B) He who was nailed to the Cross

is Lord and the ruler of nature,

all things created on earth

sing to the glory of God.



3. (A) Gently the greenness returns

Pulsing with the power of new growth.

Heaven’s energy is unleashed

Flinging an increase of life.



4. (B) Rise from the grave now. O Lord,

The author of life and creation.

Treading the pathway of death,

Life you are giving to all.



5. (A) God the Creator, the Lord,

who rules all the earth and the heavens,

guard us from harm from outside,

cleanse us from evil within.


6. (B) Jesus the health of the world,

enlighten our mind, loved Redeemer,

Sent from the Godhead above

endlessly folded in God.



7. (A) Spirit of life and power,

now flow in us, fount of our being.

Light that gives life to all,

Life that does saturate all.



8. (B) Praise to the Giver of good,

You are love and the one Reconciler,

Pour out your generous love.

Order our ways in peace.



Words: Verses: Venantius Honoris Fortunatus (alt.)

Refrain : Ted Witham

Music: Salve Festa Dies, Ralph Vaughan Williams EH 624 or TIS 423

"Jesus leaped out of the closed grave"

Easter So Surprising

1.      He is kindness without ending;
he is rain after long drought;
he is pure light without bending;
he is life that’s been let out.
He is Easter so surprising,
he’s the whistling of the fife;
he is Jesus who is rising;
he’s the bringer of new life.

2.      He is music when we’re singing,
he is freedom when we play;
he walks with us as we’re working;
his breath in us as we pray.
He is conscience when we’re straying;
challenging our idleness;
he forgives us – not delaying –
when we own our sinfulness.

3.      He is present as a dear friend;
deep within our blessedness.
Our companion at our life’s end,
brilliant light in loneliness.
He restores us in our suffering,
brings us to our heavenly rest;
leads us back from all our wandering;
guiding us to where is best.

4.      Make an altar of Christ’s manger;
of Christ’s cross a sanctuary.
In Emmaus, greet the Stranger,
Christ communes here – it is He.
He is Easter so surprising,
he’s the whistling of the fife;
he is Jesus who is rising;
he’s the bringer of new life.

Metre: 8787D. Tune: Nettleton
or Hyfrydol, or Abbots Leigh.