20 January 2007

Beautiful Saviour, Mightiest in Mercy

Many of my hymn-texts have begun as poems. I thought today I would give an example with a recent poem of mine that rather easily converted into the regular meter for an hymn. First I will give my poem, and then will follow the hymn version in meter. And by the way, I do like my hymn version sung to Richard Dirksen's Decatur Place or David Hurd's Mighty Savior.

O Mightiest in Mercy

Beautiful Saviour, Mightiest in Mercy,
Light piercing darkness, Joy beyond all sorrow,
Wounded for healing, Dying for our saving,
.....................Sinless Victim and High Priest.

Son of the Father, Child of Mary Mother,
Just Joseph's dear boy, Cause of Great John's leaping,
Mary's Deliverer, Truest friend to Lazarus,
.....................True God from God, our High King.

All laud we bring now praising our Belovèd,
Christ Jesus, Saviour, Victor, and Redeemer
Judge of the Living, Judge of the departed,
.....................Come quickly, Jesus. Come.

© 2007 by Vincent Uher. All Rights Reserved.

The Hymn: Beautiful Saviour, Mightiest in Mercy

Beautiful Saviour, Mightiest in Mercy,
Light piercing darkness, Joy beyond all sorrow,
Wounded for healing, Dying for our saving,
.....................Victim and High Priest.

Son of the Father, Child of Mary Mother,
Just Joseph's dear boy, Cause of Great John's leaping,
Mary's Deliverer, Truest friend to Lazarus,
.....................True God, our High King.

All laud we bring now praising our Belovèd,
Christ Jesus, Saviour, Victor, and Redeemer
Judge of the Living, Judge of the departed,
.....................Come quickly, Jesus.

Words: © 2007 by Vincent Uher. All Rights Reserved.
Other Excellent Suggested tunes:
Iste Confessor
Oblation (which is Crueger's "Lobet den Herren" ),
Coelites Plaudant (Rouen)

19 January 2007

Prayers of the Holy Name of Jesus

Prayers to the Most Holy Name

O sweet Name of Jesus, holy above all names in heaven and on earth, and to which every knee, both of men and of angels in heaven, on earth and in hell bends. Thou art the the way of the just, the glory of the saints, the hope of those in need, the balm of the sick, the love of the devout and the consolation of those that suffer.

O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector so that Thy Name may be blessed for all times…..
(Manualis Parvulorum XIII)
Thomas à Kempis

Prayer to the Holy Name - St. Alphonsus
O my Jesus, thou art the Saviour who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities. If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me. If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me. I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love. Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.

The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ; or, The Mysteries of the Faith, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Redemptorist Fathers, 1927.

Prayer to the Holy Name - St. Bernardine of Siena
O Jesus, Name full of glory, grace, love and strength! Thou art the refuge of those who repent, our banner of warfare in this life, the medicine of souls, the comfort of those who morn, the delight of those who believe, the light of those who preach the true faith, the wages of those who toil, the healing of the sick. To Thee our devotion aspires; by Thee our prayers are received; we delight in contemplating Thee. O Name of Jesus, Thou art the glory of all the saints for eternity. Amen.
St. Bernardine of Siena

Prayer Petition to the Holy Name of Jesus
O God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the Saviour of mankind, and Thou didst command His Name to be Jesus. I beg that a most ardent love of Thy Divine Son imprint that Name upon my heart; that it always be on my mind, and frequently on my lips; that it be my defense in temptation, my refuge in danger, and my consolation and strength in the hour of my death.

Holy Name Prayer of Contrition
Most Merciful Jesus, by that Precious Blood which Thou didst willingly shed for sinners, I beg Thee to wash away all my sinfulness and to look mercifully upon me, a poor and unworthy sinner, as I call upon Thy Holy Name. Mercifully grant me, through Thine adorable Name, which is the joy of heaven, the terror of hell, the consolation of the afflicted, the refuge of sinners and the strength of those who repent, the grace of eternal salvation through the holy Name of Jesus. I ask this in Thy Name, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God world without end. Amen.

The Holy Name of Jesus

Bowing the Head at Hearing the Holy Name

The custom of bowing the head at the mention of His Name was formally written into law at the Second Council of Lyons, A.D. 1274, convened by Pope Gregory X:

"Those who assemble in church should extol with an act of special reverence that Name which is above every Name, than which no other under Heaven has been given to people, in which believers must be saved, the Name, that is, of Jesus Christ, Who will save His people from their sins. Each should fulfill in himself that which is written for all, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious Name is recalled, especially during the sacred Mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head."

O Divine Jesus, Thou hast promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in Thy name shall be granted.

O Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfillment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, Thy Divine Son. Amen.

Source: The Prayer Book by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

17 January 2007

Lift up your hearts today

Lift up your hearts today!
Rise Up! Behold the Way,
The Truth, the Life.
Christ Jesus calls to you,
Opens his heart for you,
Pours out his love anew,
The joy of life.

The peace of Christ we share
With mercy everywhere
For everyone.
God offers all to us
Through Christ and by his Cross.
He has forgiven us,
And made us one.

Welcome are we above,
The Spirit of God's love
Lifts us on high.
Unto the throne of grace
We now behold his face.
As angels fill this place
'Holy!' we cry.

The Supper of the Lord,
Body and Blood outpoured,
God's Bread and Wine.
Heaven and earth are one,
Reconciled in the Son,
Joined in Communion,
Spirit divine.

Here we declare our love
For our great Lord above
God with us all.
Father of lights we praise,
And Comforter always,
To Christ our thanks we raise -
One God of all!

Words: Copyright © 1996 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Moscow
Meter: 664 6664

Lord, we do not presume to come to thee

They will gaze on Him whom they have pierced.

Lord, we do not presume to come to thee
As equals or as those of high degree,
But on our knees we cry and sing to thee.

Great is our Lord who heals the broken heart,
Who saves the weak and bids us do our part
To conquer evil and God's love impart.

Lord Jesus Christ, we know the time is near
For that great day when thou wilt soon appear.
By thy good Spirit help us persevere.

O help us grow in living faith and grace
Until we see thy mercy face to face,
And with thy saints in glory take our place.

Words: Copyright © 1995 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Engelberg
Meter: 10 10 10 with Alleluia

15 January 2007

The Splendour of God's truth

The splendour of God's truth we see
Like sunlight through the clouds.
We recognise the good and right
Yet wrong enthralls the crowds.
O Light of Christ, shine in our day.
Your truth we seek and crave.
And in your life may ours be hid
Who follow in your Way.

Come swiftly, Lord. Good Shepherd, come.
Your Church in pain revolves.
See, shepherds have betrayed the lambs
And shown themselves as wolves.
O heal your brokenhearted ones
Bereft and killed by shame.
Come claim your flock. Defend your own
Who love your voice and Name.

Beneath the Cross and at the Tomb
And in the Upper Room.
You pour upon us grace and power
To triumph over doom.
Your Mother we take as our own.
On Peter's Rock we stand.
Oh feed and lead us by your Life
Into your promised land!

Words: Copyright © 2002, 2004 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Laramie
Meter: CMD

Christ be our sure foundation

Christ be our sure foundation.
Christ be our cornerstone.
Build up from every nation
a people of your own.
Blest through your font of mercy,
blest be each living stone
of faith alive in witness
Fair Christ, by all be known.

The art of Christian living
adorns each day like dawn,
the work of Christ the Master
through people weak and strong.
Those hurt hands fashion wonders
with thorns, wood, nails and sin
till we shine like church windows,
bright Light of Christ within.

Beyond the words of sages,
more sure than scholars' claims,
You are the one who answers
and knows us by our names.
You know how we are tempted
to doubt and lose our way.
Be first in all our thinking
and last at end of day.

O Jesus, ever near us,
uplifting us through fears,
your tender mercies give us
the strength to stand through tears.
Your pow'rful arms embrace us
when we are at our end.
Christ, carry us to safety
with you all time to spend.

Words: Copyright © 2003 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Thornbury
Meter: 76 76 D

Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

No one knows the day or hour,
Few will understand the signs.
Two are working; one is taken.
Darkness falls, yet Jesus shines.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come!

Skies will open to his splendour.
We will meet him in the air.
'True and faithful' we will call him.
To be with him is our prayer.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come!

With our prayer and through our witness,
Jesus, let no soul be lost.
Though the hour is late and ending
May we never fear the cost.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come!

In the flashing of a moment,
In the twinkling of an eye,
We will join you in the heavens,
Trumpets sounding in the sky.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come!

Words: Copyright © 1995-2007 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Bridegroom by Peter Cutts
Meter: 87 87 6

It was she

Within her virginal womb Christ our Lord already bore the exalted title of Head of the Church; in a marvelous birth she brought Him forth as the source of all supernatural life, and presented Him newly born, as Prophet, King and Priest to those who, from among Jews and Gentiles, were the first to come to adore Him. Furthermore, her only Son, condescending to His mother's prayer in “Cana of Galilee” performed the miracle by which “His disciples believed in Him.”

It was she, the Second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother's rights and her mother's love were included in the holocaust. Thus she who, according to the flesh, was the mother of our Head, through the added title of pain and glory became, according to the Spirit, the mother of all His members.

It was she who, through her powerful prayers, obtained that the spirit of our Divine Redeemer, already given on the Cross, should be bestowed, accompanied by miraculous gifts, on the newly founded Church at Pentecost; and finally, bearing with courage and confidence the tremendous burden of her sorrows and desolation, she, truly the Queen of Martyrs, more than all the faithful “filled up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ...for His Body, which is the Church”; and she continues to have for the Mystical Body of Christ, born of the pierced Heart of the Savior, the same motherly care and ardent love with which she cherished and fed the Infant Jesus in the manger.

Excerpt from Mystici Corporis Encyclical Letter
Pope Pius XII, June 29, 1943

14 January 2007

Behold, How Like a Monarch

Behold, how like a monarch
Peace enters in to reign
when all things rightly ordered
proclaim Christ's true domain.
God crowns each true peacemaker
with blessings from above
to share with friend and neighbour
the treasure of God's love.

The sacrifice of Jesus,
his rising from the dead,
his sending of the Spirit
turns this world on its head.
The promise of our Saviour
sings, 'Heaven is at hand.
Receive the Holy Spirit.
Peace to you and your land.'

Long nights we knew of warfare,
of desperate people's cries.
We see how nations falter
destroyed by greed and lies.
Christ's Cross, a contradiction
"Lay down your life for friends
so justice, hope, and mercy
fill the world's farthest ends."

To put an end to terror
we long to do what's right.
To save the world from horrors,
to vanquish evil's might.
Unless God leads and guides us
we turn Earth into hell.
Christ, shepherd all the nations
so all things shall be well!

Christ's peace, the Church's power,
His peace, our bravest song.
His sacrifice, his bleeding
make peace where once was wrong.
His Gospel mark our actions.
Our actions be as prayers
till Christ rules every nation,
swords beat into ploughshares.

Creator of all nature,
the Word through whom Life came,
the Spirit through us moving,
One God, we praise your Name.
We tell out your great goodness,
your tenderness and might
by which you end all terror.
Your peace crowns all with light.

Words: Copyright © 2003 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Suggested tunes: Es flog ein kleins Waldvöglein (Woodbird)
or Passion Chorale (Herzlich thut mich verlangen)
Meter: 76 76 D

Eternal Father, strong to save (Space Travel Verse)

I felt that the hymn "Eternal Father Strong to Save" having verses which reflect the several branches of service on land, upon the sea, and in the air also needed a verse for those who train for and travel through space beyond our planet. The Space Shuttle disasters crystalised my thoughts on this, and the following verse was born:

O God who names the starry host
and by whose love not one is lost,
who stretched thine arms wide to the sky
from cross to heaven so death would die,
O care for those who traverse space,
embrace them now who touch thy face.

Words: Copyright © 2003 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Melita
Meter: 88 88 88

Lord Jesus Christ, Lead Us

Moses Draws Water From the Rock
Saint Edmund Church, Downham Market, Norfolk, England

Lord Jesus Christ, lead us, your little flock.
We all would journey to your promised land.
Increase our faith to trust you, Christ our Rock,
whose living waters quench the deserts' thirst.
Now to those waters guide us by your hand.

We do confess our selfish, prideful ways
serving our own wants not our neighbours' need.
Yet at this hour we turn from yesterdays
and sing a new song full of faith and hope.
Do, Lord, forgive and wash us clean indeed.

Our hearts' own treasure and our highest joy,
Jesus, we praise you, Saviour and our Lord.
Our souls and bodies, all our lives employ.
We sacrifice to you our wealth and power.
May what we give help others find you, Lord.

In that new city coming from above,
Lord, to your high feast we would gladly come.
For that great day, the triumph of your love,
we stand on guard with all your angels now.
Lord Christ, we pray to see your kingdom come.

Words: Copyright © 1995 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Old 124th
Meter: 10 10 10 10 10

Rejoice in the Lord, O Friends of God's Son

Rejoice in the Lord, O friends of God's Son.

The feast is prepared, the waiting is done.
The banquet is spread with warm welcome for all.
O do not delay, but respond to God's call!

How gracious is God, how mighty and just.
His mercies are sure and worthy of trust.
Come, broken and weary. Come, burdened and torn.
With crowns of salvation Christ shall you adorn.

The Spirit and Bride bid all of us come.
The thirsty shall drink from our Father's love.
The hungry shall feed on the joys of the Lord,
And Jesus the Christ will be ever adored.

Words: Copyright © 2002 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Laudate Dominum
Meter: 10 10 11 11

Great angels all adore Him

Great angels all adore Him
and hearts both brave and true.
Behold the Living Saviour
Who makes creation new!
Though slain from the foundation
of all the world we know,
He triumphs over evil,
and in His steps we go.

Remember how in Egypt
God's people decked the door
with blood from lambs to mark them
their sons Death would passo'er.
And now God's Son, the Lamb of God
has shed His Blood to sign
the Cross, the Christian s doorway
into the Life divine.

Death's stronghold could not hold Him.
The gates of hell He smashed.
Christ frees from Satan's clutching
all souls His Blood has washed.
Alive and risen from the dead
in victory to reign,
He soon returns. Behold Him!
Hallelujah! Amen!

Words: Copyright © 1998 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Lancashire

Christ the Good Shepherd

Gentle Reader,

Here is a first draft of a hymn text I wrote last night after praying the 23rd Psalm. Having prayed that psalm so often one might think its value or meaning had been exhausted, but I find it ever fresh, a spring that never runs dry. And when I am suffering, as indeed I am at the moment, I find it a great window with a vista onto what is most beautiful and most true about God and even my own heart's aspirations. Physical difficulties pale in comparison to such tender mercies from Christ the Good Shepherd and Just Judge. There are echoes of the Book of Common Prayer and probably the Bay Psalm Book which together with my own turns of phrase seek to express the Christian meaning of the psalm with all the joy one can muster.

I hope you enjoy reading this first draft which is meant to be sung to the tune Lasst uns erfreuen — the tune normally used for "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones". God bless and keep you.

Bishop and Guardian of my soul,
Shepherd who keeps me safe and whole, Alleluia ...
Lead me in righteousness always,
For thy Name's sake, within thy ways. Alleluia ...

By clearest waters make me rest.
Restore my soul to brave each test. Alleluia ...
Though death's dark valley be my track.
Nothing I fear; nothing I lack. Alleluia ...

O thou art with me night and day.
My strength and comfort on the Way. Alleluia ...
I feast upon thy gifts divine —
Thy Flesh from bread, thy Blood from wine. Alleluia ...

With oil anoint me, O my King.
Of thee forever will I sing. Alleluia ...
Mercy and goodness fill my days
then home with thee — all shall be praise. Alleluia ...

Words: Copyright © 2007 by Vincent Uher
Tune: Laßt uns erfreuen

13 January 2007

Cana Sunday

For my hymn on the Miracle at Cana,
Click here.

Father of lights, a hymn of thanks we raise

Father of lights, a hymn of thanks we raise,

Our Father, God, deserving of all praise,
Leading and guiding us through Christ always.

Eternal Word through whom all things are made,
God's wisdom by whose power we are sustained,
In Eucharist thy presence has remained.

O Spirit of the holy living Lord,
Anoint and bless each deed and spoken word
That Christ be magnified, loved and adored.

All saints and angels, dwellers in God's light,
Lift up your voices that we praise aright
The Blessed Trinity of Love and might.

Words: Copyright © 2002, 2007 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Music: Engelberg
Meter: 10 10 10 with Alleluia

Hymn to Jesus

Jesus, Son of Mary,
David's heir, we praise thee.
King and High Priest, we acclaim thee
Splendour of the heavens
As a tiny baby,
Child divine of our dear Lady.
Earth doth stand
In thy hand
Past and future holding,
Love and grace enfolding.

Jesus, raised by Joseph,
Master of construction,
Artist and source of instruction.
Worker of great wonders,
To life raising Lazarus,
Bearer of our sins and sadness.
Nails and cross,
Blood and loss
Sacrifice and mystery.
Masterpiece of mercy.

Jesus Christ, now risen,
In thy mercy listen
To our needs and each petition
Show us how to serve thee
At this urgent hour.
How we need thy grace and power!
Earth still spins,
Mired in sins,
People God-defying.
Innocents are crying.

Jesus, good Physician,
Heal thy Church we pray thee.
By thy Blood defend her daily.
Purify the nations.
Cleanse the ranks of shepherds.
Wash away all false endeavors.
Let us be
One with thee,
Will and purpose pleasing,
Heart and soul appealing.

Words: Copyright © 2002 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Tysk
Meter: 668 668 666

When You in Silence Speak

God, do you hear our prayers
Or answer what we pray?
Sometimes it feels as if we are alone today.
So now we seek to understand
Your silence and your outstretched hand.

Waiting is not our strength
While fears or anger rise.
When illness strikes or when one of our people dies,
Our hearts are stirred by loss and grief,
And hope seems stolen by a thief.

Yet what we learned we know
And here we must proclaim
That no disaster breaks the power of that great Name
Of Jesus Christ who has endured
All that we suffered or deserved.

When You in silence speak
Help us then to rephrase
Our prayers and pattern them to follow Jesus' ways.
So now we dare as did Your Son
to pray Your perfect will be done.

Words: Copyright © 2001 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Tune: Love Unknown (Ireland)

The Source of Praise

What praises can we bring God
the very Source of Praise?
A godly life and sober
with love throughout our days!
To love the Lord completely
and self and neighbour too --
such anthems of life are pleasing
to God and justly due.

Great Lord of all creation,
we lift both heart and mind
with saints and angels singing
dear Father of our kind.
We beg forgiveness for our sins
Christ's blood we plead and claim.
Renew us in love to live for thee,
to praise thy holy Name.

O God the Son of Mary
free us from sin and strife
Nourish and purify us
who drink thy Cup of Life.
As mothers feed their children
growing safely in the womb,
Thy body and blood do feed us
to shatter death's dark tomb.

O Spirit of God most holy
thou art our life and light.
Into the stature of Our Lord
thou guidest us aright.
O lead us into holiness
and purity of heart
that with the saints of every age
we stand and do our part.

O blessed Trinity of love
thy ways are not our own.
Now turning from the night of sin
we shine before thy throne.
Our souls we here present to thee.
Our lives do thou employ.
To praise and magnify thy Name.
We lift our hearts in joy.

Words: Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Music: Ellacombe
Meter: 76 76 D

12 January 2007

Holy Fire of Jesus' Spirit

Holy fire of Jesus' Spirit
purify my soul and heart.
Fire of love, consume my darkness.
Fire of hope, cleanse every part.
Light of heaven, burning brightly,
heal my wounds and make me whole.
Through thy mercy and compassion
light thy fire within my soul.

Jesus, Son of David, hear me.
Lord, have mercy. Save my life.
I confess I crucified thee.
Now I know thou art my life.
Change me here to bear thy glory;
let my blinded eyes see Light.
Make my broken heart thy temple
and abide there day and night.

God the Son of Mother Mary,
blest are all who keep thy word.
With thy light ablaze within me,
I proclaim what I have heard.
More than words will be my actions
shining bright to draw the world
through thy Sacred Heart to glory
in the Father of the Word.

rds: Copyright © 1999 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
: Hyfrydol
Meter: 87 87 D

Christ my God, my faith discerning

Christ my God, my faith discerning,
Present here through heaven's Bread,
With my heart and mind adoring
By your life my soul is fed.
By your Blood my sins are covered.
By your grace I am renewed.
In your Spirit may I journey
With your light and life imbued.

Magnify, my soul, God's greatness
Even in the day of wrath.
Though great darkness falls on nations
Christ our Light reveals our path.
Let the faithful praise the Body
And the Blood of Christ our Lord --
Holy Wisdom, Word eternal,
Light and Life by all adored.

Calvary's sacrifice and offering
In the Chalice and the Host -
Here is mercy like an ocean
From Our Lord in whom we boast.
With great joy we share his Body
Reverently with hearts raised up.
Pain or blessing, joy or sorrow,
Lovingly we drink his Cup.

We adore the Lord our Brother
In the Sacrament of Life
Cherishing his very Presence
Bringing peace to end all strife.
May we, fed by Christ's own Body,
Serve and see God's kingdom come,
And with all saints praise the Spirit
With the Father and the Son.

Words: Copyright © 1997-2007 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Suggested tunes: Holy Manna or Hyfrydol
Meter: 87 87 D

10 January 2007

More precious than all sacred books

More precious than all sacred books
Are you, Lord Christ, the Living Word.
You speak God's life, but who will hear
When we would fight — pride as our sword

........God is our Maker. God is Love.
........God sends us courage from above.

O Saviour, Friend, we must repent,
But who knows how, where to begin?
Open our ears to heed your voice
Before we break your heart again.

........God is our Maker. God is Love.
........God sends us courage from above.

Should we not love as you love us
And drink that Cup which would not pass,
Nail all our wants upon the Cross,
And in you find our needs surpassed?

........God is our Maker. God is Love.
........God sends us courage from above.

Lest idle fears become false gods,
We will trust God, fear no one else;
Return to Christ with every breath
By loving neighbours as ourselves.

........God is our Maker. God is Love.
........God sends us courage from above.

Copyright © 2006 by Vincent Uher
Suggested tunes:
Old 113th, alt., St. Catherine, Ryburn (Norman Cocker)

"The Incarnation of the Human Values Necessary to My Life"

A German Catholic priest told that one day he saw a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary hanging in place of honor in the cabinet of Field Marshal Hindenburg. As the priest did not hide his surprise, Hindenburg (who was a Lutheran) said, "I see in the Blessed Virgin the incarnation of the human values necessary to my life."

It is possible to dream of a better definition of what Mary has brought to the world? To a world completely abandoned to proud egoism, Mary teaches the humility of Bethlehem. To a world dominated by money and greed, she recalls the poverty of Nazareth. To a twisted, dishonest world, she brings truth and simplicity. To a world that gets more and more hardened by hatred every day, she repeats her lessons of gentleness. To an impure and vain world, she offers the testimony of her fertile virginity. To an aged world, she brings her eternal youth.

H. Engelmann
Excerpt from his book I Lost the Faith (J’ai perdu la foi, p.91)

Our Lady of the Sign - The Theotokos Bearing Christ

Click here to see a contemporary icon of "Our Lady of the Sign" that is the official icon of the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States of America. This archdiocese keeps the Feast of Our Lady of the New Advent on December 16th.

Click here. for a beautiful Eastern Orthodox apse containing and ikon of Our Lady of the Sign. Also, an Eastern Orthodox explanation of this ikon is included.

09 January 2007

O Christ the King

O Christ the King, the royal banners rise.
Thy Cross, thy standard we raise to the skies,
And hail thee, “Lord!” and bow before thine eyes.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

Transfigured thou upon the mountain’s height
Revealed the glory of the Bridegroom’s face
And showed to them thy purpose and thy Light.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

The Cross, thy throne where thou wast lifted high
Embracing all the broken world’s dark heart
Till blood and water gushed when pierced was thine.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

Death could not hold thee, nor a tomb contain,
O Love and Life, who now from heav’n dost reign,
The King of kings, the Lord who healeth pain.
Alleluia. Alleluia.

Copyright © 2006 by Vincent Uher
This text is sung to the tune Sine Nomine

08 January 2007

O Living Lord


On the Occasion of the Birthday of Fr. James T. Moore, Ph.D

O Living Lord,
In thine own Mother thou didst rule and reign.
Nine months her womb all heaven did contain.
Thou heaven’s Lord, within her flesh sustained —
Her blood, thy grain.

Come down from heav’n,
O Bread of Angels by her milk once fed,
For thee we hunger, Thou our Living Bread.
Thy precious Blood to sinners, pray, extend,
O Life without end.

Light of the world,
Star of the morning, Sun of righteousness,
From thy pure Chalice we taste holiness.
By thine own flesh our souls and bodies bless,
Divine Presence.

O Mary’s Son,
Blest be thy Father, Maker of all things.
“Blest be thy Spirit, “ all creation sings.
Blest our redemption! Let all bells now ring
For Christ the King.

Copyright © 2006 by Vincent Uher
This may be sung to the tune Ora Labora

Bright torches in the darkest night

Bright torches in the darkest night,
The saints of God as lights yet shine.
Lord, let our witness rise with theirs,
And through their prayers give grace divine.

A dimly burning wick were we,
But now our faith fills with thy fire
For thou art all consuming love —
Thy perfect will our hearts desire.

Unite thy saints through every age
And cleansed from sin lift us above,
O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
One God in glory, one in love. Amen.

Copyright © 2006 by Vincent Uher
This may be sung to the tune Winchester New

Lo, How She Brings Life With Her

Lo, how she brings Life with her
Concealed beneath her heart,
Eve’s daughter, brave and chosen,
God’s partner to his art.
Her will knit with divine will
Desires his Word be done.
For God she weaves within her
The body of their Son.

Elisabeth her cousin
A child will bring to birth –
God’s answer to her longing,
A prophet for the Earth.
“Peace be with you,” said Mary.
Her cousin’s babe did dance
The merry steps of best man:
The Bridegroom’s here, at last.

Elisabeth cried out then,
“The child within me leapt!
When he heard your sweet greeting,
With joy my baby stepped.”
She spoke full of the Spirit,
With insight from the Lord,
“How is it you come to me
The Mother of my Lord?”

Great Mary, Anna’s child,
A daughter born to Israel,
A virgin undefiled,
She sang out as a woman
Brought up on Hannah’s song,
“O praise, my soul, God’s greatness.
Rejoice, our Lord is strong.”

All ages call her blessed
Just as she once foretold.
Blest is she amongst women,
Her Child blest from of old.
Blest is she who believes God
Who carries God’s true Word.
Her Son both God and human
Fulfils great Gabriel’s word.

Our Saviour, God of mercy,
Remembers Abraham’s fold.
Praise God who casts down tyrants.
Rejoice! Our God is bold.
So sing we with blest Mary
To magnify the Lord
Who raised up his handmaiden.
Oh, holy is the Lord!

Copyright © 2006 by Vincent Uher
This may be sung to the tune Far Off Lands
or to the tune Wie lieblich ist der Maien

Especially for the liturgical observances of the Visitation, Nativity of St. John Baptist, Advent III, Advent IV and for Masses for the Respecting of Life.

07 January 2007

At a Wedding Feast in Cana

At a wedding feast in Cana
Jesus, Mary, and their friends
joined to celebrate a marriage-
covenant which on Love depends.
And the party it went on
till the bowls of wine were gone.
Mary nudged her Son Christ Jesus,
urged him to step up and please us.

"Dearest woman, let's have no show.
You know well it's not my time."
Mary smiled and told the servants,
"Follow all his words sublime.
Do whatever he may say.
It's the way he'll save the day."
And the servants did her bidding
and to Jesus all were listening.

Jesus guided all their actions
and turned water into wine.
How amazing this great wonder
his first miracle and sign!
It was not to raise the dead
or to heal as it is said,
but to keep a party going --
this his first and wondrous showing.

Let us hearken then to Mary
and do all that Christ shall say.
Heal the sick and feed the hungry,
love the living of each day.
Walk on water when we must,
make disciples of the lost.
Raise the dead and banish demons.
Preach and teach through all the seasons.

Praise and worship to the Father
Laud and glory to the Son,
For the Holy Spirit muster
songs of joy on every tongue.
With Our Lady walk the way
leading to Christ's glorious day
when the faithful rise to meet him
and rejoicing we will greet him!

Words: Copyright © 1998 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Music: Genevan Psalm 42 ("Comfort, Comfort, ye my people")
Meter: 87877788

Bread of Salvation

Bread of Salvation
heaven sent to earth,
Chalice of our redemption
and new birth!

Covenants sealed
by blood in ages past
broke we betraying God
whom we loved last.

Yet God's own mercy flowed,
and we must tell —
a chosen daughter
met by God's angel.

'Hail, full of grace!
Your child shall be adored.'
'Here I am,' Mary said,
'to serve the Lord.'

Mary our Mother
gave her very blood
to bring to birth
our Saviour and our God.

Jesus Redeemer,
Mary and God's Son,
dying upon the cross
Salvation won.

Flesh from his Mother,
water and the blood
gushed forth to save us all
for Life in God.

New Covenant
he sealed with his own Blood.
"Remember me
and drink my Cup of Love."

Taste and believe
the goodness of the Lord –
His Body, and his Blood
for you outpoured.

Words: Copyright © 1997-2007 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Music: Song 46
Meter: 10 10

Song 46 is the only tune for this text. The marriage of words and music is a blessed one that none should put asunder. The words were written while in preparation for the Annunciation, March 25th.

Flight into Egypt - From Egypt Home

Click here for tune.

Lonely travellers from the stable
Out beneath the hard blue sky
Journeying, wandering, hoping, praying
For the safety of their child
While our mother Rachel's weeping
Fills the streets of Bethlehem.
Kyrie eleison.

Warned by angels, moved to save him
Who was born our kind to save,
Joseph leads his holy family
Far from Herod and harm's way.
Mary shielding and consoling
Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Kyrie eleison.

Fleeing from the land of promise
They in Egypt find a home
Strange the workings of God's mercy --
House of bondage now God's throne.
But for sons who all were murdered
Sorrow breaks the House of Bread.
Kyrie eleison.

True the tale of flight and exile.
Out of Egypt comes God's Son.
Angels tell of Herod's dying.
All is ended, all begun.
Jesus will grow up in Nazareth
And the world will all be stunned.
Kyrie eleison.

Words: Copyright © 1997 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Music: Divinum mysterium
Meter: 87 87 87 7

The Galveston Carol

"Glory be to God on high!"
the angels surely sang,
And shepherds in the fields
stood amaz-ed by the sign.
"Go and see God's own Child
with his mother meek and mild.
He's the Lord's own anointed.
He's Christ of whom we sing.
He's your Friend and your Brother and your King!"

Now with haste we go with them,
To David's city blest,
To Bethlehem where Christ is born
As prophets long confessed.
Come and see God's own Child
with his mother meek and mild.
He's the Lord's own anointed.
He's Christ of whom we sing.
He's our Friend and our Brother and our King!

At the crib we bend the knee
Astounded at the sight.
A carpenter who with his wife
presents a boy of Light.
Glory be! God the Child!
See, his virgin mother smiled!
He's the Father's beloved
He's Christ of whom we sing.
He's our Friend and our Brother and our King!

Small and frail and in her arms
we know for us he came.
For common folk he'll die and live
And take us home again.
Hope and joy come to you
And the love of Jesus too!
All our hearts we will give him,
His glory we will sing.
He's our Friend and our Brother and our King!

Words: Copyright © 1997 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
usic: The Wassail Song (Here we come a-wassailling among the leaves so green)

Sing of Mary, blest is she!

Sing of Mary, blest is she!
Mother of the Saviour!

"Yes!" said she to Gabriel's plea,
"Yes!" to God forever.
"Yes!" for every woman born.
"Yes!" for every nation.
"Yes!" for all of the unborn.
"Yes!" for all creation.

Sing of Joseph, vexed was he,
Troubled and perplex-ed
Till an angel in a dream
Peace to him directed.
"Take the Virgin as your wife.
Love her baby wholly.
Love the infant as your life.
He's God's Son most holy."

Sing of Jesus, blest is he
In the Lord's Name coming,
Born in great humility
Every person loving,
Prince of Peace and Counsellor--
Wonderful the telling!--
Came to earth to save us all
And to share his blessing.

Mary, Joseph join us now
And all saints in glory
As we tell his love for all
In the sacred story.
Angels, shepherds, and the kings
To Christ's side are running.
Let all people ready now
For his second coming.

Glory be to God on high!
Glory in the highest!
Peace on earth, goodwill to all
From the Lord Most Highest.
Blessings come for everyone,
Graces to God's credit
From the Father with the Son
Through the Holy Spirit.

Words: Copyright © 1996-2006 by Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Music: Tempus adest floridum (Piae Cantiones)
Meter: 76 76 D