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18 October 2010

O Thou Who This Mysterious Bread

1. O Thou who this mysterious bread
didst in Emmaus break,
return, herewith our souls to feed
and to thy followers speak.

2. Unseal the volume of thy grace,
apply the gospel word;
open our eyes to see thy face,
our hearts to know the Lord.

3. Of thee communing still, we mourn
till thou the veil remove;
talk with us, and our hearts shall burn
with flames of fervent love.

4. Enkindle now the heavenly zeal,
and make thy mercy known,
and give our pardoned souls to feel
that God and love are one.

Text: Charles Wesley (1745)

Deck Thyself, My Soul, With Gladness

Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness,
leave the gloomy haunts of sadness,
come into the daylight's splendor,
there with joy thy praises render
unto him whose grace unbounded
hath this wondrous banquet founded;
high o'er all the heavens he reigneth,
yet to dwell with thee he deigneth.

Now I sink before thee lowly,
filled with joy most deep and holy,
as with trembling awe and wonder
on thy mighty acts I ponder;
how, by mystery surrounded,
depths no man hath ever sounded,
none may dare to pierce unbidden
secrets that with thee are hidden.

Sun, who all my life dost brighten;
Light, who dost my soul enlighten;
Joy, the sweetest man e'er knoweth;
Fount, whence all my being floweth:
at thy feet I cry, my Maker,
let me a fit partaker
of this blessed food from heaven,
for our good, thy glory, given.

Jesus, Bread of life, I pray thee,
let me gladly here obey thee;
never to my hurt invited,
be thy love with love requited;
from this banquet let me measure,
Lord, how vast and deep its treasure;
through the gifts thou here dost give me,
as thy guest in heaven receive me.

Text: Schmücke dich, o leibe Seele, by Johann Franck (1649), trans. Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Tune: Johann Crüger (1653)

15 October 2010

Wash, O God, Our Sons and Daughters

Wash, O God, our sons and daughters,
where your cleansing waters flow.
Number them among your people;
bless as Christ blessed long ago.
Weave them garments bright and sparkling;
compass them with love and light
Fill, anoint them; send your Spirit,
holy dove and heart’s delight.

We who bring them long for nurture;
by your milk may we be fed.
Let us join your feast, partaking
cup of blessing, living bread.
God, renew us, guide our footsteps;
free from sin and all its snares,
one with Christ in living, dying,
by your Spirit, children, heirs.

O how deep your holy wisdom!
Unimagined, all your ways!
To your name be glory, honor!
With our lives we worship, praise!
We your people stand before you,
water washed and Spirit born.
By your grace, our lives we offer.
Recreate us; God, transform!

Words: Ruth Duck (1987)

Wonderful Words of Life

1. Sing them over again to me,
wonderful words of life;
let me more of their beauty see,
wonderful words of life;
words of life and beauty
teach me faith and duty.

Beautiful words, wonderful words,
wonderful words of life.
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
wonderful words of life.

2. Christ, the blessed one, gives to all
wonderful words of life;
sinner, list to the loving call,
wonderful words of life;
all so freely given,
wooing us to heaven. (Refrain)

3. Sweetly echo the gospel call,
wonderful words of life;
offer pardon and peace to all,
wonderful words of life;
Jesus, only Savior,
sanctify forever. (Refrain)

Composer: Philip P. Bliss (1874)

13 October 2010

O Word of God Incarnate

1. O Word of God incarnate,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging,
O Light of our dark sky:
we praise you for the radiance
that from the hallowed page,
a lantern to our footsteps,
shines on from age to age.

2. The church from you, our Savior,
received the gift divine,
and still that light is lifted
o'er all the earth to shine.
It is the sacred vessel
where gems of truth are stored;
it is the heaven-drawn picture
of Christ, the living Word.

3. The Scripture is a banner
before God's host unfurled;
it is a shining beacon
above the darkling world.
It is the chart and compass
that o'er life's surging tide,
mid mists and rocks and quicksands,
to you, O Christ, will guide.

4. O make your church, dear Savior,
a lamp of purest gold,
to bear before the nations
your true light as of old.
O teach your wandering pilgrims
by this their path to trace,
till, clouds and darkness ended,
they see you face to face.

Text: William W. How (1867)
Tune: AURELIA, 76.76D
Alternate Tune: MUNICH, 76.76D

Blessed Jesus, At Thy Word

1. Blessed Jesus, at thy word
we are gathered all to hear thee;
let our hearts and souls be stirred
now to seek and love and fear thee,
by thy teachings sweet and holy,
drawn from earth to love thee soley.

2. All our knowledge, sense, and sight
lie in deepest darkness shrouded,
till thy spirit breaks our night
with the beams of truth unclouded.
Thou alone to God canst win us;
thou must work all good within us.

3. Glorious Lord, thyself impart!
Light of light, from God proceeding,
open thou our ears and heart;
help us by thy spirit's pleading;
hear the cry thy people raises;
hear, and bless our prayers and praises.

Text: Tobias Clausnitzer (1663), trans. Catherine Winkworth (1858)
Tune: LIEBSTER JESU, 78.78.88, by Johann R. Ahle (1664)

12 October 2010

Rescue the Perishing

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
Though they are slighting him, still he is waiting,
waiting the penitent child to receive;
plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
he will forgive if they only believe. (Refrain)

Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
chords that were broken will vibrate once more. (Refrain)

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
back to the narrow way patiently win them;
tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died. (Refrain)

Text: Fanny J. Crosby (1869)
Music: William H. Doane (1870)

10 October 2010

The Church of Christ, In Every Age

The church of Christ in every age,
beset by change but Spirit-led,
must claim and test its heritage
and keep on rising from the dead.

Across the world, across the street,
the victims of injustice cry
for shelter and for bread to eat,
and never live until they die.

The let the servant church arise,
a caring church that longs to be
a partner in Christ's sacrifice,
and clothed in Christ's humanity.

For he alone, whose blood was shed,
can cure the fever in our blood,
and teach us how to share our bread
and feed the starving multitude.

We have no mission but to serve
in full obedience to our Lord:
to care for all, without reserve,
and spread his liberating word.

Words: Fred Pratt Green (1969)
Tune: WAREHAM LM, by William Knapp (1738)

09 October 2010

God Is Here

God is here! As we your people meet to offer praise and prayer,
May we find in fuller measure what it is in Christ we share.
Here, as in the world around us, all our varied skills and arts
Wait the coming of the Spirit into open minds and hearts.

Here are symbols to remind us of our lifelong need of grace;
Here are table, font, and pulpit, here the cross has central place.
Here in honesty of preaching, here in silence, as in speech,
Here in newness and renewal, God the Spirit comes to each.

Here our children find a welcome in the shepherd's flock and fold;
Here as bread and wine are taken, Christ sustains us as of old.
Here the servants of the Servant seek in worship to explore
What it means in daily living to believe and to adore.

Lord of all, of church and kingdom, in an age of change and doubt,
Keep us faithful to the gospel, help us work your purpose out.
Here, in this day's dedication, all we have to give, receive;
We, who cannot live without you, we adore you! We believe!

Text: Fred Pratt Green (1978)
Tune: ABBOTT'S LEIGH 87.87D, by Cyril V. Taylor (1941)

Lord, You Give The Great Commission

Lord, you give the great commission:
"Heal the sick and preach the word."
Lest the Church neglect its mission
and the Gospel go unheard,
help us witness to your purpose
with renewed integrity;
with the Spirit's gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Lord, you call us to your service:
"In my name baptize and teach."
That the world may trust your promise,
life abundant meant for each,
give us all new fervor,
draw us closer in community;
with the Spirit's gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Lord, you show us love's true measure:
"Father, what they do, forgive."
Yet we hoard as private treasure
all that you so freely give.
May your care and mercy lead us
to a just society;
with the Spirit's gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Lord, you bless with words assuring:
"I am with you to the end."
Faith and hope and love restoring,
may we serve as you intend,
and, amid the cares that claim us,
hold in mind eternity;
with the Spirit's gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Text: Jeffrey Rowthorn (1978)
Tune: ABBOT'S LEIGH 87.87D, by Cyril V. Taylor (1941)

07 October 2010

Sois la Semilla

Sois la semilla que ha de crecer,
sois la estrella que ha de brillar,
sois levadura, sois grano de sal,
antorcha que ha de alumbrar.
Sois la mañana que vuelve a nacer,
sois espiga que empieza a granar.
Sois aguijón y caricia a la vez,
testigos que voy a enviar.

Id, amigos, por el mundo,
anunciando el amor,
mensajeros de la vida,
de la paz y el perdón.
Sed, amigos, los testigos
de mi Resurrección.
Id llevando mi presencia.
¡Con vosotros estoy!
Sois una llama que ha de encender
resplandores de fe y caridad.
Sois los pastores que han de guiar
al mundo por sendas de paz.
Sois los amigos que quise escoger,
sois palabra que intento gritar.
Sois reino nuevo que empieza a engendrar
justicia, amor y verdad. (Estribillo)

Sois fuego y savia que vine a traer,
sois la ola que agita la mar.
La levadura pequeña de ayer
fermenta la masa del pan.
Una ciudad no se puede esconder,
ni los montes se han de ocultar.
En vuestras obras que buscan el bien
los hombres al Padre verán. (Estribillo)

Composer: Cesáreo Gabaraín (1979)

See my other blog postings in the Contemporary Catholic series.

Lead On, O King Eternal

Lead on, O King eternal,
the day of march has come;
henceforth in fields of conquest
thy tents shall be our home.
Through days of preparation
thy grace has made us strong;
and now, O King eternal,
we lift our battle song.

Lead on, O King eternal,
till sin's fierce war shall cease,
and holiness shall whisper
the sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords loud clashing,
nor roll of stirring drums;
with deeds of love and mercy
the heavenly kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King eternal,
we follow, not with fears,
for gladness breaks like morning
where'er thy face appears.
Thy cross is lifted o'er us,
we journey in its light;
the crown awaits the conquest;
lead on, O God of might.

Text: Ernest W. Shurtleff (1887)
Tune: LANCASHIRE, 76.76 D, by Henry T. Smart (1835)

05 October 2010

Onward, Christian Soldiers

1. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
2. At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;
on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise. (Refrain)

3. Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
one in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

4. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
but the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
we have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail. (Refrain)

5. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
this through countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain)

Background Information

Text: Sabine Baring-Gould (1864)
Tune: ST. GERTRUDE, 65.65 D with Refrain, by Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1871)

O Zion, Haste

1. O Zion, haste, thy mission high fulfilling,
to tell to all the world that God is light,
that he who made all nations is not willing
one soul should perish, lost in shades of night.

Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace;
tidings of Jesus, redemption and release.
2. Behold how many thousands still are lying
bound in the darksome prisonhouse of sin,
with none to tell them of the Savior's dying,
or of the life he died for them to win. (Refrain)

3. Proclaim to every people, tongue, and nation
that God, in whom they live and move, is love;
tell how he stooped to save his lost creation,
and died on earth that we might live above. (Refrain)

4. Give of thine own to bear the message glorious;
give of thy wealth to speed them on their way;
pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious;
O Zion, haste to bring the brighter day. (Refrain)

Text: Mary A. Thompson (1894)
Tune: TIDINGS, 11 10.11 10 with Refrain, by James Walch (1875)

Pass It On (It Only Takes A Spark)

It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing;
That's how it is with God's Love,
Once you've experienced it,
Your spread the love to everyone
You want to pass it on.

What a wonderous time is spring,
When all the tress are budding
The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming;
That's how it is with God's love,
Once you've experienced it.
You want to sing, it's fresh like spring,
You want to pass it on.

I wish for you my friend
This happiness that I've found;
You can depend on God
It matters not where you're bound,
I'll shout it from the mountain top
I want the world to know
The Lord of love has come to me
I want to pass it on.

Composer: Kurt Kaiser (1969)

See my other blog postings in the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) series.

04 October 2010

Singt dem Herrn (Taizé)

Singt dem Herrn ein neues Lied.
Lob singt ihm alle zeit,
lob singt ihm alle zeit!

(Sing to God with joyful hearts.
Praise the Lord for evermore,
praise the Lord for evermore!)

Music: Jacques Berthier (English bio) (French bio)

See my other blog postings in the "Taizé" series of chants.

Official Taizé Community Website

Wikipedia information on the Taizé Community
- in French
- in English

We've A Story To Tell To The Nations

We've a story to tell to the nations,
that shall turn their hearts to the right,
a story of truth and mercy,
a story of peace and light,
a story of peace and light.

For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
and the dawning to noonday bright;
and Christ's great kingdom shall come on earth,
the kingdom of love and light.
We've a song to be sung to the nations,
that shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
a song that shall conquer evil
and shatter the spear and sword,
and shatter the spear and sword. (Refrain)

We've a message to give to the nations,
that the Lord who reigneth above
hath sent us his Son to save us,
and show us that God is love,
and show us that God is love. (Refrain)

We've a Savior to show to the nations,
who the path of sorrow hath trod,
that all of the world's great peoples
might come to the truth of God,
might come to the truth of God. (Refrain)

Composer: H. Ernest Nichol (1896)
Tune: MESSAGE, 10.8.87 with Refrain