25 May 2017

Mendelssohn: The Ascension of Christ

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Felix Mendelssohn, composer
The Ascension of Christ:
The Night Shines As The Day
from Six Anthems, Opus 79
Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Jürgen Budday, conductor


MacMillan: DATA EST MIHI POTESTAS

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The Strathclyde Motets: Data est mihi potestas
The Sixteen • Harry Christophers

All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth, alleluia.
Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them 
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, alleluia, alleluia.

Data est mihi omnis potestas in caelo et in terra, alleluia. 
Euntes, docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos 
in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, alleluia, alleluia.

Ascension Day: The Lord Ascendeth Up On High (Sumsion)

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The Lord Ascendeth Up On High
Herbert Sumsion, composer
The Ecclesium Choir
Philip Stopford, conductor
David Leigh, organ


The Lord ascendeth up on high,
the Lord hath triumphed gloriously,
in power and might excelling;
the grave and hell are captive led,
lo! he returns, our glorious Head,
to his eternal dwelling.

The heavens with joy receive their Lord,
by saints, by angel hosts adored,
O day of exultation!
O earth, adore thy glorious King!
His rising, his ascension sing
with grateful adoration!

Our great High Priest hath gone before,
now on his Church his grace to pour,
and still his love he giveth;
O may our hearts to him ascend;
may all within us upward tend
to him who ever liveth!

Arthur Tozer Russell, author

A Thanksgiving for the Resurrection and Ascension [Anglican Patrimony]

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LET us bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost:
Let us praise and exalt him for ever.


Then shall be said together:

BLESSING and honour and glory and power
be unto him that sitteth upon the throne
and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty:
Just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints;
All glorious thy gifts, thou Spirit of life.
Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving
and honour and power and might
be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.


O GIVE thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious;
And his mercy endureth for ever.

Who hath loved us from all eternity;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

And remembered us when we were in trouble;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

Who by his Cross and Passion hath redeemed the world;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

And hath washed us from our sins in his own blood;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

Who on the third day rose from the dead;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

And hath given us the victory;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

Who ascended up on high;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

And opened wide for us the everlasting doors;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

Who sitteth on the right hand of God;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

And ever liveth to make intercession for us;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.


FOR the gift of his Spirit;
Blessed be Christ.

For the Catholic Church;
Blessed be Christ.

For the means of grace;
Blessed be Christ.

For the hope of glory;
Blessed be Christ.

For the triumphs of his gospel;
Blessed be Christ.

For the lives of his saints;
Blessed be Christ.

In joy and in sorrow;
Blessed be Christ.

In life and in death;
Blessed be Christ.

Now and unto the end of the ages;
Blessed be Christ.


Here may be added thanksgivings for particular mercies, and at their end all shall say together the General Thanksgiving.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies,
we thine unworthy servants
do give thee most humble and hearty thanks
for all thy goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all men.
We bless thee for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for thine inestimable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we beseech thee,
give us that due sense of all thy mercies,
that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful;
and that we show forth thy praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to thy service,
and by walking before thee
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.


BLESSING and honour and thanksgiving and praise more than we can utter, more than we can conceive, be unto thee, O most adorable Trinity, + Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by all angels, all men, all creatures, for ever and ever. Amen and Amen.

Cambridge Offices and Orisons
Eric Milner-White
B.T.D. Smith

24 May 2017

Ascension Day: ANTIPHON (Lloyd)

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Lloyd: Antiphon for Ascension Day

Choral Evensong + 20 May 2015
Lichfield Cathedral


Ascension Day: The Lord ascendeth up on high [New English Hymnal]

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THE LORD ASCENDETH UP ON HIGH
Tune: PALACE GREEN
Choral Evensong + 20 May 2015
Lichfield Cathedral

The text as altered in the New English Hymnal:


Arthur T. Russell's original hymn text:

The Lord ascendeth up on high,
the Lord hath triumphed gloriously,
in power and might excelling;
the grave and hell are captive led,
lo! he returns, our glorious Head,
to his eternal dwelling.

The heavens with joy receive their Lord,
by saints, by angel hosts adored,
O day of exultation!
O earth, adore thy glorious King!
His rising, his ascension sing
with grateful adoration!

Our great High Priest hath gone before,
now on his Church his grace to pour,
and still his love he giveth;
O may our hearts to him ascend;
may all within us upward tend
to him who ever liveth!

Ascension Day Collects [Anglican Patrimony]

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In the older Anglican tradition Ascension Day (observed this year on the 25th of May) was known as "Holy Thursday". 


O ALMIGHTY GOD, whose blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abideth with his Church on earth, even unto the end of the ages; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Collects from The Book of Common Prayer Tradition

Ascension Day: Viri Galilaei (Introit)

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Viri Galilaei, 
quid admiramini aspicientes in caelum? Alleluia.
Quemadmodum vidistis 
eum ascendentem in caelum, ita veniet, Alleluia.
Omnes gentes plaudite manibus: 
jubilate Deo in voce exultationis.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, 
sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper, 
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. 

Monks of Glenstal Abbey, Nóirín Ní Riain


Ye men of Galilee,
why stand you looking into heaven? Alleluia.
He shall so come
as you have seen him going into heaven. Alleluia.
All ye Nations clap hands:
make jubilation to God in the voice of exultation.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.


William Byrd, composer
Cambridge Singers
John Rutter, conductor


Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Ensemble Vocal Europeén de la Chapelle Royale
Philippe Herreweghe, director


Patrick Gowers, composer
Combined Choirs of Winchester, Gloucester, and Hereford Cathedrals
Dr Roy Massey, conductor




Ascension Day: 'The head that once was crowned'

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Tune: ST. MAGNUS (Jeremiah Clarke)
Choir of the King's School, Canterbury


The head that once was crowned with thorns
is crowned with glory now;
a royal diadem adorns
the mighty Victor's brow.

The highest place that heaven affords
is his, is his by right,
the King of kings, and Lord of lords,
and heaven's eternal Light;

The joy all of all who dwell above,
the joy of all below,
to whom he manifests his love
and grants his Name to know.

To them the cross with all its shame,
with all its grace is given;
their name, an everlasting name;
their joy, the joy of heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below,
they reign with him above,
their profit and their joy to know
the mystery of his love.

The cross he bore is life and health,
though shame and death to him:
his people's hope, his people's wealth,
their everlasting theme.

Thomas Kelly
(1769-1855)

A wee bit of Chesterton for Ascension Day

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Le Jeudi de l'Ascension • Les Très Riches Heures de Duc de Barry

G.K. Chesterton writes:

WHAT is the difference between Christ and Satan?

It is quite simple. Christ descended into hell; Satan fell into it.

One of them wanted to go up and went down;
the other wanted to go down and went up.

G.K. Chesterton
The Ball and the Cross

Click here for reasons why the Ascension of the Lord matters: 
No. 6 is especially appropriate with regard to this blog-post.

Ascension Day: God is Gone Up (Gerald Finzi)

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The Choir of Wells Cathedral
Malcolm Archer, director


"God is Gone Up" - An Anthem for Ascension Day
Gerald Finzi, composer

The text is taken Edward Taylor's 'Meditation Twenty' and Psalm 47.

God is gone up with a triumphant shout!
The Lord with sounding Trumpets' melodies:
Sing Praise, sing Praise, sing Praise, sing Praises out,
Unto our King sing praise seraphicwise!
Lift up your Heads, ye lasting Doors, they sing,
And let the King of Glory enter in.

Methinks I see Heaven's sparkling courtiers fly,
In flakes of Glory down him to attend,
And hear Heart-cramping notes of Melody
Surround his Chariot as it did ascend;
Mixing their Music, making ev'ry string
More to enravish as they this tune sing.

Ascension Day: God is gone up with a merry noise (William Croft)

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Guildford Cathedral Choir
Barry Rose, director
Evensong at Guildford Cathedral
Ascension Day, 7 May A.D. 1964


Psalm 47, vv. 5-7.

God is gone up with a merry noise,
And the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.
O sing praises, sing praises unto our God,
O sing praises, sing praises unto our King.
For God is the King of all the earth,
Sing ye praises with understanding.




Caryll Houselander: On the Ascension

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A poem of Caryll Houselander's on the Second Glorious Mystery:


Christ,
ascended into Heaven,
You bear the wounds
of the whole world
in Your hands and feet
and in Your heart.

They plead for us,
shining like stars
before the secret face of God.

By Your five wounds
purify our five senses;
lift up our hearts into Heaven.

While You draw down
God's mercy to us,
showing our wounds
in Your glorified Body,
let us draw men up to You,
showing Your wounds to the world,
scored on our grey dust
in the bright crimson
of Your love.


The poem above comes from Caryll Houselander's marvellous little book on the Holy Rosary containing Rosary prayers that she wrote in London in the bomb shelters during World War II. The prayers were originally commissioned by Maisie Ward for her book The Splendour of the Rosary.


Frances Caryll Houselander, pray for us.

May: MAGNIFICAT (Gerald Finzi

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10 November A.D. 2013, 
Franziskanerkirche, Luzern
Orchester Camerata Musica Luzern 
Leitung: Andreas Felber

The Most Beautiful Prayer

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Keti Iliaeva and Father Seraphim of the Assyrian Eastern Orthodox Church in the Republic of Georgia chant The Lord's Prayer in Aramaic:


Pray.

Arab Christian Saints: Saint Abo of Tiflis

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In this day of Islamist violence and the violent Islamic repression of Christianity in many Islamic nations, it is clear to me that we who follow the Lord Jesus the Messiah should be seeking the intercession of the ethnic Arab saints as we pray.

For most of us it is a very difficult thing to name even one ethnic Arab saint much less an ethnic Arab Christian saint who converted from Islam.

I admit I had great difficulty thinking of any ethnic Arab saints when my father first brought up this topic. Every name that came to mind was either a Syriac Christian or a member of another ethnic group that had been overtaken by the Arabs.  But then a name came to mind ... Abo the Arab also known as Saint Abo Tibileli.

Holy Martyr Abo the Perfumer of Tbilisi
Saint Abo Tibileli
Saint Abo of TiflisAbu al-Tiflisi in Arabic— was both an ethnic Arab and a convert to Christianity from Islam.  He preached the Christian Gospel in the streets of Tiflis (Tbilisi) when it was under Arab control, and he was martyred there by the Arab Muslim government.

Let us seek Saint Abo's intercession for the unmasking of Islamist terrorists and their networks of terror, and let us ask him to pray to the Lord for the conversion of every Muslim and every Arab.

Saint Abo first lived in Baghdad and was by profession a maker of fine perfumes.  There is a brief biography on Wikipedia that is a good place to start in learning about this great saint and martyr: link.  But, dear Reader, you will learn a great deal more by visiting the website of the Orthodox Church of America and reading its article on Saint Abo (link) and the article on OrthodoxWiki: link.

Today he is the patron saint of Tbilisi, the capital city of the Republic of Georgia.  It was in Tbilisi (when it was under Arabic rule) that Saint Abo was denounced by Arab Muslims for having converted to Christianity. He was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ on the 6th of January A.D. 786.

"Georgia is called Mother of the Saints, some of these have been inhabitants of this land, while others came among us from Time to time from foreign parts to testify to the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ." from The Passion of Saint Abo


Next in this series: Saint John of Damascus also called Saint John Damascene

All  Holy Saints and Martyrs of the Arab People, pray for us to the Lord of Hosts.

A Prayer to Jesus by Thalassios the Lybian

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Христос Вседержитель
Христос Вседержитель
by the hand of Vasnetsov

Master, 
as you looked down upon us once before,
look down upon us again.
As you intended your incarnation for our salvation—
for you came to save us who were lost—
so now do not close us out of the company of the saved.
Raise up our souls and save our bodies.
Cleanse us all from every wickedness.
Liberate us from our obsessive desires, Lord,
and let us worship you alone in the eternal light.
Let us rise up from the dead
and dance in that blessed, eternal,
and unbreakable ring
our dancing with the angels.


Saint Thalassios the Lybian 


Baptistry, San Giovanni, Florence



Christaraksha: Prayer of the Cross of Christ

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I know that this prayer is known by many of the baptised and the religious of the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church.  Perhaps, dear reader, it is unfamiliar to you, or perhaps you have read it before in a previous post of mine - one may even wonder why I post it again.

The answer is simple: we need this prayer.  We need to pray it. I need to pray it or something like it every single day together with Paternoster, Ave Maria, and Gloria Patri

Pray it over your children and loved ones before they leave for the day. Pray it for yourself by day or by night. Pray it as part of your family prayers or rosary and simply change the "you" to me or us as is appropriate for your situation.

Although this is my personal opinion, I pray you will make daily use of this prayer or something like it.  I entreat you to take this as seriously as if "when the bridge is out, I told you the bridge is out, so you would not come to frustration or harm."  

So then, let us pray,



May the Cross of the Son of God,
which is mightier 
than all the hosts of satan
and more glorious 
than all the hosts of heaven,
abide with you 
in your going out 
and your coming in.

By day and night, 
at morning and at evening,
at all times and in all places 
may it protect and defend you.

From the wrath of evildoers,
from the assaults of evil spirits
from foes visible and invisible
from the snares of the devil,
from all passions 
that beguile the soul and body:

May the Cross of Christ 
guard, protect and deliver you. 
Amen.

from India
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Blessed John Henry Newman: HEART OF MARY

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Mary treasured all these words 
pondering them in her heart. 
St. Luke 2:19

 Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

(Vincent Uher's Personal Version for Family Recitation 
of the Litany of the Immacualte Heart of Mary of Blessed John Henry Newman 
adapted to the Sacral Language of the Anglican Patrimony)
Bl. John Henry Newman, ora pro nobis! 


Lord, have mercy upon us.  
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.  
Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us. 
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, hear us.  
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,  
have mercy upon us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,  
have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit,  
have mercy upon us.

+ Holy Trinity, one God,  
have mercy upon us.

Heart of Mary,  
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, after God’s own Heart,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, in union with the Heart of Jesus,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, vessel of the Holy Spirit,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, shrine of the Trinity,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, home of the Word,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, immaculate in your creation,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, flooded with grace,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, blessed of all hearts,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, throne of glory,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, abyss of humbleness,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, victim of love,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, nailed to the cross,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, comfort of the sad,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, refuge of the sinner,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, hope of the dying,
pray for us.

Heart of Mary, seat of mercy,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,  
spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,  
graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, 
have mercy upon us.

Christ, hear us.  
Christ, graciously hear us.

Lord, have mercy upon us. 
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. 

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Conform our hearts to the Heart of Jesus.

Let us pray:
O most merciful God, who for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the wretched, has made the Immaculate Heart of Mary most like in tenderness and pity to the Heart of Jesus, grant that we, who now commemorate her most sweet and loving heart, may by her merits and intercession, ever live in the fellowship of the hearts of both Mother and Son, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


+Ave Immaculata!


Uher Hymn: Behold, How Like a Monarch

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I am very grateful that the first two verses of this hymn are included in the month of May edition of Magnificat magazine.  I pray that those who make use of this hymn will be stregnthened in the very Peace of Christ and confirmed in walking His way of Peace.


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 © 2003-2009 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.

Suggested tunes: Es flog ein kleins Waldvöglein (Woodbird)
PASSION CHORALE (Herzlich thut mich verlangen)
AURELIA (The Church's One Foundation)
Meter: 76 76 D




Three verses of this hymn are especially appropriate for use on Pentecost Sunday which is also know as Whitsunday.  Those verses for use on Pentecost follow below:

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.'

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 © 2003-2009 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.

PASSION CHORALE (Herzlich thut mich verlangen)
AURELIA (The Church's One Foundation)
Meter: 76 76 D