Wind of God, dynamic Spirit,
breathe upon our hearts today;
that we may your pow’r inherit,
hear us Spirit, as we pray:
Fill the vacuum that enslaves us,
emptiness of mind and soul;
and, through Jesus Christ who saves us,
give us life and make us whole.
Voice of God, prophetic Spirit,
speak to every heart today,
to encourage or prohibit
urging action or delay:
Clear the vagueness which impedes us.
Come, enlighten mind and soul;
and, through Jesus Christ who leads us,
teach the truth that makes us whole.
Fire of God, volcanic Spirit,
burn within our hearts today;
cleanse our sin. May we exhibit
holiness in every way:
Purge the squalidness that shames us,
soils the body, taints the soul;
and, through Jesus Christ who claims us,
purify us, make us whole.
–Words (Acts 2:1-4) Copyright Michael Saward, Jubilate Hymns, Ltd.
This is another one of my favorite hymns, sung to one of my favorite hymn tunes: Cwm Rhondda, a Welsh tune written in 1907. This hymn is also sometimes written as “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”
Guide me, o thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this Barren Land,
I am weak, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy pow’rful Hand;
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more.
Open now the Crystal Fountain
Whence the healing Stream doth flow,
Let the fi’ry cloudy Pillar
Lead me all my Journey through;
Strong Deliv’rer, Strong Deliv’rer,
Be thou still my Strength and Shield.
Be thou still my Strength and Shield.
When I tread the Verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious Fear subside;
Death of Deaths, and Hell’s Destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s Side.
Songs of Praises, Songs of Praises,
I will ever give to Thee.
I will ever give to Thee.
–Words by William Williams (1717-1791), originally written in Welsh as “Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch”, translated into English by Peter Williams in 1771.
–Tune: Cwm Rhondda by John Hughes (1907)
–This version of the hymn is from the Royal Wedding: Official Album of the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. Accompaniment by The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace; Organist: Robert Quinney; Conductor: James O’Donnell.
Lord of the springtime
Father of the flower, field and fruit,
smile on us in these earnest days,
when the work is heavy and the toil wearisome;
lift up our hearts, O God, to the things worthwhile —
sunshine and night, the dripping rain, the song of birds,
books and music, and the voices of friends.
Lift up our hearts to these this evening
and grant us thy peace.
(From a prayer read in the House of Representatives on April 12, 1962, Wednesday in Holy Week)
Almighty and merciful God, Father of all, Creator and Ruler
of the Universe, Lord of History Whose designs are inscrutable,
Whose glory is without blemish, Whose compassion for our errors is inexhaustible,
in Your will is our peace.
Mercifully hear this prayer which rises to You from the tumult
and desperation of a world in which You are forgotten, in which
Your name is not invoked, Your laws are derided, Your presence
Because we do not know You, we have no peace.
Help us to be masters of the weapons that threaten to master
us. Help us to use our science for peace and plenty, not for war
and destruction. Show us how to use nuclear power to bless
our children’s children, not to blight them.
Resolve our inner contradictions that now grow beyond belief
and beyond bearing. They are at once a torment and a blessing:
for if You had not left us the light of conscience, we would not
have to endure them. Teach us to be long-suffering in anguish
and insecurity. Teach us to wait and trust. Grant light, grant
strength and patience to all who work for peace.
Grant us Prudence in proportion to our power, Wisdom in
proportion to our science and Humaneness in proportion to
our wealth and might. Bless our earnest will to help all races
and people to travel in friendship along the road to justice,
liberty and lasting peace.
Grant us above all to see that our ways are not necessarily
Your ways, that we cannot fully penetrate the mystery of Your
designs and that the very storm of power now raging on this
earth reveals Your hidden will and Your inscrutable decision.
Grant us to see Your face in the lightning of this cosmic storm,
O God of holiness, merciful to all. Grant us to seek peace
where it is truly found!
In Your will, O God, is our peace! Amen.
–by Thomas Merton, from “The Non-Violent Alternative“, edited by Gordon C. Zahn. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1980. pp. 269-270.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.