Tag Archives: mercy

The Beatitudes – Arvo Pärt

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

–Words: Matthew 5:3-12 (King James Version)
–Music: Arvo Pärt (b. 1935)

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God the Omnipotent

God the Omnipotent! King who ordainest
thunder thy clarion, the lightning thy sword;
show forth thy pity on high where thou reignest:
give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

God the All-merciful! Earth hath forsaken
thy ways all holy, and slighted thy word;
bid not thy wrath in its terrors awaken:
give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

God, the All-righteous One! Earth hath deified thee;
yet to eternity standeth thy word,
falsehood and wrong shall not tarry beside thee:
give to us peace in our time, O Lord.

God the All-provident! earth by thy chastening
yet shall to freedom and truth be restored;
through the thick darkness thy kingdom is hastening:
thou wilt give peace in our time, O Lord.


–Words: verses 1-2: Henry Fothergill Chorley, 1842; verses 3-4, John Ellerton, 1870.
–Tune: RUSSIA, Alexey Feodorovitch Lvov, 1833

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Sing praise to God who reigns above

Sing praise to God who reigns above,
the God of all creation,
the God of power, the God of love,
the God of our salvation;
with healing balm my soul he fills,
and every faithless murmur stills:
to God all praise and glory.

What God’s almighty power hath made,
his gracious mercy keepeth;
by morning glow or evening shade
his watchful eye ne’er sleepeth.
Within the kingdom of his might,
lo! all is just and all is right:
to God all praise and glory.

O ye who name Christ’s holy name
give God all praise and glory;
let all who know his power proclaim
aloud the wondrous story!
Cast each false idol from its throne,
the Lord is God, and he alone:
to God all praise and glory.

Words: Johann Jakob Schütz, 1675; (trans. Frances Elizabeth Cox, 1864)
Music: MIT FREUDEN ZART (Bohemian Brethren’s Kirchengesänge, 1566)


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On the twelfth day of Christmas…

The Twelve Lights of Christmas

Light the first light of Christmas for thankfulness and prayer…
And everything you see and hear and feel and do.
Light the second light of Christmas for happiness and joy…
And be cheerful with everyday and everyone around.
Light the third light of Christmas for colors and music…
Gifts in people, gifts for people, gifts everywhere from God.
Light the fourth light of Christmas for thoughtfulness and love…
And be gentle and kind to all God’s people and animals.
Light the fifth light of Christmas for mercy…
So we can be forgiving and forgiving like our God.
Light the sixth light of Christmas for all miracles…
Like babies and Jesus and things
That happen like magic, but they’re not.
Light the seventh light of Christmas for understanding…
So we can have peace inside ourselves and all around the world.
Light the eighth light of Christmas for our Earth…
It’s the only planet where humans can survive.
Light the ninth light of Christmas for Heaven and Angels…
We can keep them all around us, everywhere, with goodness.
Light the tenth light of Christmas for life…
No matter how short or long it is,
It’s a wonderful blessing from God.
Light the eleventh light of Christmas for spirit…
The strongest part of us that rises out of death forever.
Light the twelfth light of Christmas for Heartsongs…
The glow inside of us that keeps the light of Christmas bright.
And when our hearts glow with the Lights of Christmas,
We will remember spirit and life and Heaven and Angels,
And Earth and understanding and miracles and mercy,
And thoughtfulness and love and colors and music,
And happiness and joy and thankfulness and prayer…
And become better people throughout the whole, entire year.

–Written by Mattie Stepanek, December 10, 1996. From the book Reflections of a Peacemaker, edited by Jennifer Smith Stepanek.

by Heidi Malott

by Heidi Malott

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Advent Reflection – 11

So when next he comes with glory,
and the world is wrapped in fear,
may he with his mercy shield us,
and with words of love draw near.

– Stanza 4 from Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding from a 6th century Latin hymn

Why is it that when you are afraid, or sad, you start to doubt everything. You doubt the love you feel in your heart, and the love your family and friends have for you. You enter into a downward spiral of doubting everything, and your sorrow deepens. There is an eternal light that no matter what happens in our lives, is there to comfort us and shield us. The light and love of Christ, which never falters, rescues us each and every day. It will rescue us in the future, as the world welcomes the Kingdom of God. Christ’s coming into our world is the sanctification of life for all people. Let us cast away the works of darkness and embrace the love of God made known to us in his incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, who is the eternal light that will never die!

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Miserere Mei, Deus (Allegri)

To me, this is one of the most beautiful choral renditions of a Psalm I have ever heard…it’s up there with one of my other favorites (Sicut Cervus). It was written in the seventeenth century by Gregorio Allegri, composed as part of the Tenebrae service held in the Sistine Chapel during Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. The words are based on Psalm 51. What I find most beautiful about this piece is its alternation between harmony and chant. When singing in harmony, the contrast between the bass and mezzosoprano is fantastic.

The words of the audio rendition skip over the italicized portion of the Latin text (provided below). The embedded YouTube clip includes the text in its entirety.

(above clip comes from the album Classical Chill Out, and is sung by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge)

Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hysopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne proiicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae: et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.

Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique: holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Ierusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

For a translation of the Latin text into English, click here.

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Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty

This hymn is one of my absolute favorites. It is sung to the hymn tune Nicaea, and is one of the most classic hymns ever written. It never gets old, and still sends shivers down my spine when it brings to mind the absolute awesomeness that is God: Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

The first version here is a traditional version, sung by the choir of St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland (from the album Famous Hymns of Praise).

The second version is a modern interpretation of this classic hymn by Sufjan Stevens, one of my favorite artists (from the album Songs for Christmas).

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Words: Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
Tune: Nicaea by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876)

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