23 May 2017

Victoria: Super Flumina Babylonis

Considering the state of the world, the Victoria setting from the psalm Super Flumina Babylonis seems especially appropriate at this hour:

Super Flumina Babylonis • Victoria
Harry Christophers and The Sixteen



Holy God, 
Holy Mighty One, 
Holy Immortal One, 
have mercy upon us.

Holy God, 
Holy Mighty One, 
Holy Immortal One, 
have mercy upon us.

Holy God, 
Holy Mighty One, 
Holy Immortal One, 
have mercy upon us.

Trisagion by Sviridov
The Ural Choir
Vladislav Novik, Choirmaster

A Prayer to Jesus by Thalassios the Lybian


Христос Вседержитель
Христос Вседержитель
by the hand of Vasnetsov

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

Looking Toward the Feast of the Ascension

Anglican Patrimonial tidbit:  In the Anglican tradition the Thursday in Holy Week is called 'Maundy Thursday', and the Thursday of the Ascension of the Lord is called 'Holy Thursday'. It is for this reason there are so many poems entitled 'Holy Thursday' written by English authors that concern not Holy Week but rather Our Lord's Ascension and Session at the right hand of the Father.

The following prayers are some of the most ancient to be found in Christendom:

APPEAR, O Lord, make thyself known, O Lord, as thou didst appear manifest in the flesh; born of a Virgin, found by the shepherds, recognised in power, proclaimed by the Star, adored with gifts, manifest in the river, believed on in faith, received up in the cloud and promised again by him that announced it: that by the grace of this holy festival thy Church may now receive thy joys, as once it made known thy mysteries.
Mozarabic Missal

WORTHY of glory from every mouth, and of confession by every tongue, and of adoration and exaltation from all ceatures, is the adorable Name of thy glorious Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: thou who didst create the world in thy grace and its inhabitants in thy pitifulness: who didst save mankind by thy compassion and hast shown great grace unto mortals. Thousand thousands of those on high bless and adore thy Majesty, O my Lord; and ten thousand times ten thousand holy angels, and hosts of spiritual beings, ministers of fire and spirit, glorify thy name: thy holy cherubim and spiritual seraphim, offering adoration, crying and praising without ceasing, calling one to another and saying "Holy, holy holy."

Liturgy of SS. Adai and Mari

BEFORE the glorious seat of thy majesty, O Lord, and the exalted throne of thine honour, and the awful judgment-seat of thy burning love, and the absolving altar which thy command hath set up, and the place where thy glory dwelleth, we, thy people and the sheep of thy fold, do kneel with thousands of the cherubim singing ALLELUIA, and many times ten thousand seraphim and archangels, acclaiming thine holiness, worshipping, confessing and praising thee at all times, O Lord of all, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for ever.
Chaldean Liturgy

Our Lady, Guardian of Plants, pray for all of us upon the earth.

An Armenian Blessing


Keep us in peace, O Christ our God,
under the protection 
of thy holy and venerable Cross;
save us from our enemies, 
visible and invisible;
and count us worthy 
to glorify thee with thanksgiving,
with the Father and the Holy Ghost,
both now and for ever, 
world without end. 

 + Amen. 

An older translation of a blessing
from the Armenian Apostolic Church

21 May 2017

Emmanuel Segatashya: "Jesus Christ sent me here today to tell you..."

Emmanuel Segatashya, pray for us.

This is the first message that the Lord Jesus Christ gave to Segatashya to share with the world while he was still a young boy in his native Rwanda in Africa:

“Jesus Christ sent me here today to tell you, 
and all men to renew your hearts. 
The day is coming 
when things will really get hard for humanity. 

You must change your heart while there is still time. 

Soon those who have refused to repent 
will not be able to do so. 

Let those who know that I set foot on earth, 
know that I am on my way back 
to take those who have worked well for Me 
to heaven for their eternal reward.”

Jesus Speaks to the Boy from Kibeho


Neither Segatashya nor his parents had ever been in a school or a church. While not yet approved by the Catholic Church, I am a firm believer in the veracity of Emmanuel Segatashya and all that he said and did in his too short life.

Emmanuel Segatashya, pray for us.

Saint Cristóbal Magallanes & Companions, Martyrs of Mexico

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Saint Christopher Magallanes and Companions,
 Mexican Martyrs
21 May

Pope St John Paul II on the 21st of May A.D. 2000 canonised the following Holy Martyrs of Mexico:  St. Cristóbal Magallanes Jara, St. Román Adame Rosales, St. Rodrigo Aguilar Aleman, St. Julio Álvarez Mendoza, St. Luis Batis Sáinz, St. Agustín Caloca Cortés, St. Mateo Correa Magallanes, St. Atilano Cruz Alvarado, St. Miguel De La Mora De La Mora, St. Pedro Esqueda Ramírez, St. Margarito Flores García, St. José Isabel Flores Varela, St. David Galván Bermudes, St. Salvador Lara Puente, St. Pedro de Jesús Maldonado, St. Jesús Méndez Montoya, St. Manuel Morales, St. Justino Orona Madrigal, St. Sabas Reyes Salazar, St. José María Robles Hurtado, St. David Roldán Lara, St. Toribio Romo González, St. Jenaro Sánchez Delgadillo, St. Tranquilino Ubiarco Robles, and St.David Uribe Velasco.

Almighty and eternal God, who madest Saint Christopher Magallanes and his Companions faithful to Christ the King even unto martyrdom: grant us, through their intercession; that, persevering in confession of the true faith, we may always hold fast to the commandments of thy love; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Uher Visitation Hymn: LO, SHE BRINGS LIFE WITH HER

Dear friends in Christ,

It is my sincere desire that this text be shared widely and used freely. Please feel free to post it on your blogs or email it to friends. I give permission for its use provided that my copyright notice is kept intact and that no words are altered.

Our Lady of the Sign, pray for us!

God bless us one and all,

Vincent Uher

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?"

The Mother of her Lord, yes,
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 Abr'am'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 William Uher III

A hymn for Visitation, Fourth Advent, and the Nativity of St. John Baptist
This may be sung to the Bohemian Brethren tune Far Off Lands
or to the lovely tune Wie lieblich ist der Maien

Uher Hymn: Behold, How Like a Monarch


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

17 May 2017

At Night: Selected Orthodox Christian Prayers



+ My hope is the Father.
+ My refuge is the Son.
+ My shelter is the Holy Spirit.
O Holy Trinity, glory to you.


I commit my every hope to you, O Mother of God.
Guard me under your protection. 

All creation rejoices in you who are full of grace— both the company of the angels and the human race. Holy Temple and Spiritual Paradise, boast of virgins, from you God was made flesh and became a child, the same who was our God existing before the ages. He made your womb into a throne, making you more spacious than the heavens.

All creation rejoices in you, O Full of Grace. 
Glory to you.


Most glorious Ever-Virgin and blessed Mother of God, present our prayer to your Son, who is our God, and pray that, through your advocacy, he will save our souls. 

by Antiochos, Monk of the Pandektes Monastery

Master, grant us rest of soul and body as we go now to sleep. Guard us from the gloomy somnolence of sin and from every dark seduction of the night. Calm the turmoil of our obsessions, extinguish the blazing arrows of the evil one so craftily aimed at us. Subdue the rebellions of our flesh, and calm all our earthly and material thoughts. Grant us, O God, a vigilant mind, chaste thought, a sober heart, and sleep that is light and free of all evil dreams. Raise us up again at the hour of prayer, secure in your commandments and holding fast within us the memory of your judgments. Grant that we may sing of your glory all the night long, that we may praise and bless and glorify your all-honorable and majestic name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. 


+ Through the prayers of our holy Fathers and Mothers,
Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen. 

Father John A. McGuckin
Priest of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Prayer Book of the Early Christians
Paraclete Press

May: Chaldean Catholic Basilica Hymn to Mary


In this month of May which for Latin Catholics is a month under the patronage of and dedicated to Our Lady, St Mary the Virgin, I have thought about those parts of the Catholic Church and their prayers and hymns concerning the Blessed Mother Mary that may not be so familiar to readers. Today I have in mind the Chaldean Catholic Church which is in communion with the Holy See. It shares largely the same history, language, culture, and liturgy as the Assyrian Church of the East. Both Churches have suffered horribly since the US invasion of Iraq to the present day. Nevertheless, both Churches endure.

Thinking of those Churches today I wanted to share something from the Marian element of their worship and prayer, and it struck me that one of the fixed hymns for Evening Prayer would be a good window into the great beauty and simplicity of the prayer of the Chaldean Church of the East. The following translation into English by Fr Andrew Younan is taken from Emmanuel, a Book of Public Prayer published in 2013 by the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St Peter the Apostle in the United States. I also highly recommend Fr Andrew Younan's book Perpetual Jubilee: Meditations on the Chaldean Liturgical Year — it is extraordinarily informative and spiritually uplifting. 

In the prayer book Emmanuel the following Marian hymn is numbered among the Basilica Hymns for Evening Prayer to be sung from Christmas to Lent and the evenings after Pentecost, and I share it here hoping that you, dear Reader, will find it as timely and as beautiful as I do:

O holy Virgin Mary, 
mother of Jesus our Savior: 
plead and implore for mercies 
from the Child 
who dawned from your womb, 
that in his grace 
he may make times of distress pass by us 
and establish peace and serenity for us; 
and through your prayers, 
may the Church and her children 
be guarded from the evil one. 
On the glorious day 
when his Greatness is revealed, 
may we be worthy to delight with you 
in the bridal chamber of Light.

Maryam bthulta qaddyshta,
Yimmeh d-Ysho' paroqan,
m-none, tlob rahme,
m-yalda admin 'ubbakh hwelih,
d-mafit minion b-taybutheh,
zawne milyi 'aqatha,
w-'illan mashre
shayneh wa-shlameh,
wab-yadh, slawathekh
nater lah l'edta, wyalah min
bysha, wabyawma shwyha,
d-mithgalya rabbutheh, tawukh
d'immakh mabismukj
ba-gnon nuhra.

Chaldean Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary of the Harvest
(Our Lady Guardian of Plants) in Alqosh, Iraq before the invasion by Daesh (ISIS/ISIL).  
"Holy Virgin Mary, we love you for you love even the tiniest growing plant as well as the smallest human being. You are the Ark of the Lord. You are the Temple containing the Most Holy. No one can destroy you, and as long as we have you we have our Messiah and Savior Jesus. And in Jesus we have everything. Halleluia. Halleluia. Halleluia."

Let us all remember to pray for our Christian sisters and brothers who are suffering such intense persecution throughout the Middle East and especially in Iraq and Syria. Please consider donating some money to Aid to the Church in Need or any of the other agencies that are especially seeking to provide relief and help to the suffering Church and her children.  And let us thank God for their continued witness to Jesus Christ whether in their homelands or in Sweden, or the United States, or Australia, or Canada, or wherever they may be.  May Our Lord and Our Lady bless them, preserve them, and bring about a great harvest of faith through them all.

Fr Sergei Bulgakov: Our Lady and the Holy Ghost


I have been reading again in Bulgakov's controversial works on Divine Wisdom, and the following quotation stood out for me as expressing especially well part of his theological position concerning the Blessed Mother Mary and the person and work of the Holy Ghost:

The veneration of our Lady in Orthodoxy is such that those outside may well ask the question, Is not this frankly exaggerated? Does it not introduce into Christian doctrine the figure of a goddess? Such a misapprehension may be dissipated by the simple consideration that our Lady, however exalted may be the honour paid her, is not divine, is not even theandric. Her human nature and personality subsist in spite of her complete deification.  Though she, upon whom the Holy Ghost reposes, is therefore spirit-bearing, yet for all that she remains a woman, however fully deified. The Holy Ghost is not personally incarnate like the Son. In conformity with his personal nature he blesses, sanctifies, penetrates, and vivifies, and that is all. And yet his fullest and loftiest manifestation is nevertheless effected in the spirit-bearing "blessed" Virgin Mary. She is, in personal form, the human likeness of the Holy Ghost. Through her, with her human form become entirely transparent to the Holy Ghost, we have a manifestation and, as it were, a personal revelation of him. 
The person of the Holy Ghost remains hidden from us even in his descent at Pentecost, which conferred immediately only the gifts of the Spirit. But there is a human person to whom it is given to manifest the Holy Ghost himself, and that is the most holy Virgin, Mary, the heart of the Church. And yet this manifestation of the Holy Ghost—let us emphasise the fact that it is precisely a manifestation, not an incarnation—remains for us in this life beyond our understanding.

Father Sergei Bulgakov
The Wisdom of God: A Brief Summary of Sophiology
Excerpted from 'The Veneration of Our Lady'
Williams and Norgate, Ltd.
London, 1937

16 May 2017

May: Thomas Traherne on the Blessed Mother


The sainted Anglican priest-poet and mystic Thomas Traherne writes:

"And first, O Lord, I praise and magnify thy Name
For the Most Holy Virgin-Mother of God, 
who is the Highest of thy Saints.
The most Glorious of thy Creatures.
The most Perfect of all thy Works.
The nearest unto Thee in the Throne of God.

Whom thou didst please to make
Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son.
Spouse of the Eternal Spirit,
Tabernacle of the most Glorious Trinity.
Mother of Jesus.
Mother of the Messias.
Mother of him who was the Desire of all Nations.
Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Mother of the King of Heaven.
Mother of our Creator.
Mother and Virgin.
Mirror of Humility and Obedience.
Mirror of Wisdom and Devotion.
Mirror of Modesty and Chastity.
Mother of Sweetness and Resignation.
Mirror of Sanctity.
Mirror of all Virtues.
The most illustrious Light in the Church,
wearing over all her beauties the veil of Humility 
to shine the more resplendently in thy Eternal Glory ..."


Uher Hymn: Author of Creation's Story

In Memory of Penny Norman, tssf

Written by the hand of Fr Luke Dingman

Author of Creation's story,
God and Father of the Light,
Loving us you sent your Servant
Christ to save us from death's night.
God the Son
He has won
Life eternal for each one.

Perfect trust and benediction
Are the gifts our Christ bestows.
Each new member of his Body
Feeds on him and by faith grows;
Love outpoured,
Christ adored,
Jesus present, Friend and Lord.

Fire of hope, great Holy Spirit;
Searching round with kindling spark;
Find within my soul a dwelling;
Light your flame and seal God's mark,
Cross and call,
Christ our all,
Signed by these we shall not fall.

Words (c) Copyright 2000-2017 by Vincent Wm Uher III
Suggested tune: Michael (Herbert Howells)

Uher Hymn | Based upon the 23rd Psalm with Alleluyas | BISHOP AND GUARDIAN OF MY SOUL


This hymn text is based upon the 23rd Psalm, and I have dedicated this text to Mr. Stephen Collins.

Click on the above to enlarge.

14 May 2017

14 May A.D. 2017: Mother's Day


Today is observed as Mother's Day in Canada, the United States, and various parts of the world.  To all mothers I pray God sends you joy and blessings.  And for my own mother, Mary Rose, may Our Lord and Our Lady embrace you with tender love, and may God our Father shower blessings and graces upon you as you have filled my life to overflowing with your love.

Of Saint Mary the Virgin, 
Mother of our God and Saviour
Jesus Christ

Holy Virgin, Mother of mothers,
Mother of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ,
may we love thee
as thy Child Jesus loveth thee perfectly.

Who didst choose the Mother of thy Son 
To be our Mother also, 
Grant us that, persevering in penance and prayer 
For the salvation of the world, 
We may further more effectively each day 
The reign of Christ 
Who liveth and reigneth with thee 
In the unity of the Holy Ghost, 
One God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

For All Mothers

Episcopal priest Fr. Bryan Owen (of Baton Rouge, Louisiana) wrote the following prayer and has it posted on his blog Creedal Christian:

Most gracious and gentle God, from the womb of your love you gave birth to all creation, and in your Son Jesus Christ you reveal a loving-kindness that longs to gather up your children under the shadow of your wings: Bless, we pray, all mothers, especially those who nurse and care for children. Give them patience and wisdom. Sustain them in gentleness and grace. Deepen the tenderness of their affections. Affirm them in the nobility of their calling. May our children always find in the embrace of mothers an outward and visible sign of your never-failing love and care. And through the love of our mothers, may we all feel the warmth of your tender mercies and know the constancy of your unconditional love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

There is also a beautiful collect for Mother's Day on the Prayer Book Society (USA) website:

Almighty God our heavenly Father, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, whose beloved Son didst share and enjoy the blessings of an earthly home in Nazareth: Bless, we beseech thee, the homes of our nation and especially this day hear our prayers for mothers everywhere, that they may grow in Christian love and understanding; pour down on them all the riches of thy grace that they may reflect and share the true and pure love of God to their children and families; To the honor and glory of thy Holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.