Wild Birds


WILD BIRDS – HYMN FOR ST GEORGE’S DUNSBOROUGH

We are God’s good people of St George’s,
God’s folk of ocean capes and bays.
We are all worshipping our Saviour,
serving our God through all of our days.

We all take joy from wide-winged osprey
who fly so high, and then go higher:
their praise, their joy and their exultation
will lift up our hearts and so inspire.

We lift our eyes to curlew sandpipers
who cross the seas to nest and feed:
in freedom they set out on their long journeys,
and for their faith God meets their need.

O Holy Spirit, teach us to be wild birds,
to fly with you, praise from the heart:
to follow with courage, to cherish the journey,
so living and trusting to take our part.

  • Ted Witham, Pentecost 2015
  • Metre 98 98 (St Clement)
  • Curlew sandpiper. Migrating annually from the Arctic to SW Australia

    Back in the early 1990s, the late Bob Waterhouse, a priest friend, wrote a song for his parish, The Wild Geese. I thought it might be good to sing this song for Pentecost 2015 at St George’s in Dunsborough. But Fr Bob’s words are specific to St Matthew’s, and the wild geese are not native to Dunsborough. So, inspired by Bob’s song, I gifted the song below to the parish of Dunsborough, who sung it for the first time with appropriate devotion.

    Cape Naturaliste via Dunsborough

WIde-winged eastern osprey

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)

IMG_0553

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)

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

 

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.