Category Archives: Songs

And Love Is Everything: A Newtown Carol

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1.

Sweet on the breeze of angels,

songs in the night ring clear:

Heaven to earth is singing

anthems of peace and cheer.

Unbrightened, in reply

poor earth sends up its groaning:

Peace is an orphan here.

2.

Swift on a path of longing,

roused by the angel song,

shepherds run to the stable;

hope makes their going strong.

The manger cold and still

meets eagerness with anguish:

Here hope is killed by wrong.

3.

Brighter than sun and planets,

sign of the ancient vow,

Star of the East is shining,

even the wise men bow;

but shadowed hearts in mourning

see only rays of darkness:

No light shines on us now.

4.

Close by the cradle, Mary

bravely the secret sings:

Love is a sea of sorrow,

love is a broken wing;

love has no guns, no forces,

love cannot win a battle:

And love is everything.

It’s O and O and O: A Carol for O Antiphon Week

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O, O, said God, when at one word

the day burst forth from night:

O light, O lovely, God declared,

astounded by the sight.

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O, O, cried Mary in alarm

when God begged her assent:

O mystery, O yes, she said,

unknowing what it meant.

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O, O, a swimming Peter said

when Christ called through the mist:

O You, O Lord, his heart confessed,

unable to resist.

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O, O, the longing church has sighed

through all things ill and well:

O Day, O Mystery, O Lord,

O come, Emmanuel!

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And when our healing comes at last

we’ll hear a word we know;

for heaven makes but one sweet sound:

it’s O and O and O!

*****

Note: May be sung to Brother James’ Air by repeating last two lines in each stanza.

If God Can Find A Corner Small: A Carol for Christmas

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1.

If God can find a corner small,

a town constricted as a tomb,

to house the sweeping Life of all,

we too can find a little room.

2.

If God requires but little space,

an unassuming mother’s womb,

to birth God’s spacious Gift of grace,

we too can be a little room.

3.

If little room is room to spare,

a stable’s manger plain and rough,

to cradle everlasting Care,

we too have room, and room enough.

4.

And even if we still mistake

a mansion’s pomp for God’s embrace,

whatever room we sinners make,

Good Love will gladly fill the place.

A NOTE ON TUNES:

You can sing this carol to the tune, ANDREW, Hymn 467, “Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth’ in The New Century Hymnal. [You will need to repeat last line of each stanza of the carol in order to fit the tune’s 8.8.8.8.8 meter]

A really lovely LM tune, NORWICH, was composed for that same text (“Mothering God”) by Carolyn Jennings. It is at # 735 in the Lutheran hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship. And a wonderful choral setting of this same tune is by Zebuloma Highben, and can be found at Augsburg Fortress. I like this tune very much for this carol.

For a more meditative mood, you might use CONDITOR ALME, alternating verses between a soloist and the congregation, or choir and congregation.

When The Teacher Comes Telling A Story

When the Teacher comes telling a story

and the story he’s telling is life,

it will pour down like rain,

it will spring up like grain.

Alleluia, sing glory, Amen!

When the Teacher comes telling a story

and the story he’s telling is light,

it will break clouds apart,

it will show you your heart.

Alleluia, sing glory, Amen!

 

When the Teacher comes telling a story

and the story he’s telling is hope

it will feed you like bread,

it will raise up the dead.

Alleluia, sing glory, Amen!

When the Teacher comes telling a story

and the story he’s telling is love,

it will heal like a song,

it will say you belong.

Alleluia, sing glory, Amen!

When God’s Peace Descends Like Showers

Tune: HOLY MANNA

When God’s peace descends like showers, soaking into thirsty ground,

Then the Spirit stirs our gladness, and we dance to sweetest sound;

then the desert greens and blossoms, then we drink from new-made springs;

then our hearts believe the promise, and the hope inside us sings.

When God’s peace is kindly given heart to heart by word and sign,

then the Spirit takes our sorrow, turns its water into wine;

turns good wine to joy unending, crowning all our human days,

‘till we sing to God in heaven, lost in wonder, love and praise.

When the peace of God is flowing fathoms deep and oceans wide,

then the Spirit calls her children face to face and side by side;

then the key of love unlocks us, chains are broken, hatreds end,

then we walk in freedom’s garden, lamb and lion, foe and friend.

O May My Life Be Bread: A Morning Offering

O may the Sower’s seed

fall in a ready place:

the open heart your furrowed field,

a clearing tilled by grace.

O may the promised rain

find buried grain down deep

and raise up singing shoots of wheat

where hope was fast asleep.

O may good workers come

to gather in the gold

and set a table in the world

with joy a hundredfold.

O may my life be bread

love-kneaded and increased

to feed the guests dear Love invites

to revel at the  Feast.