29 December 2018

New Zealand: Carol our Christmas

A recent Christmas carol from New Zealand sung by the Virginia Girls Choir under the direction of Ana Hernandez:

Carol our Christmas
A Carol from New Zealand

27 December 2018

Uher Hymn: FLIGHT INTO EGYPT (Lonely Travellers from the Stable)


Poem: Flight Into Egypt

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 Wm Uher III
vuher@alumni.rice dot edu

"Lonely Travellers from the Stable" is a hymn of mine (Vincent Uher) especially appropriate for use after Christmas Day and upon the Feast of the Holy Family.  

The hymn is also printed in some places as "The Flight into Egypt Hymn" or "Christmastide Kyrie".  This was originally a poem of mine simply titled "Flight into Egypt".  My preference is to use either the first line of my hymn ("Lonely Travellers from the Stable") or the explanatory title "The Flight into Egypt Hymn".

Click on the music above for larger size to print or view
Permission granted for one time use by church, school, or choir.

24 December 2018

Christmastide: A Litany of the Incarnation

Offices of the Gospel: Monday at the Sixth Hour

HOLY art thou, O God; holy, Creator : Father most holy:
Have mercy upon us.

Holy art thou, O God; holy, most mighty; holy Incarnate:
Have mercy upon us.

Holy art thou, O God; holy, immortal; holy, Lifegiver:
Have mercy upon us.

Glory be to God on high;
And in earth peace, goodwill towards men.

By the archangel's salutation,
Grant us thy peace.

By Mary's glad obedience,
Grant us thy peace.

By the endless joy of Christmas,
Grant us thy peace.

By the love of Mary Mother,
Grant us thy peace.

By thy lowly birth and lodging,
Grant us thy peace.

By thy cradle in a manger,
Grant us thy peace.

By the song of herald angels,
Grant us thy peace.

By the homage of poor shepherds,
Grant us thy peace.

By the offering of princes,
Grant us thy peace.

By thy holy name of Jesus,
Grant us thy peace.

Glory be to God on high:
And in earth peace, goodwill towards men.

WE thy children do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God, and to grant 
that the glad light of the Incarnation may shine throughout the world;
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That the Gospel of thy love may win the faith and homage of all hearts;
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That all estates of men may know and find their unity at Bethlehem;
Son of man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That the questionings of all minds and the wants of all souls
at Bethlehem may find their peace:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That thy birth as Man may hallow the whole life of man:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That we may ever wear in honour the robe of flesh which thou hast worn:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That thou for whom an inn could find no room may not again be crowded from our lives:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

That thou for whom a stable-place sufficed wilt not disdain to dwell within our hearts:
Son of Man, we beseech thee to hear us.

Glory be to God on high:
And in earth peace, goodwill towards men.

THEREFORE with angels and archangels, with patriarchs and prophets, with Mary and Joseph, with wise men and shepherds, with all men and all creatures, let us bless the Lord;
Hosannah in the highest.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the governments shall be upon his shoulder;
Hosannah in the highest.

And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace;
Hosannah in the highest.

For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;
Hosannah in the highest.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us;
Hosannah in the highest.

And we have seen his glory, glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth;
Hosannah in the highest.

GOD the Father, maker of men; God the Son, born among men; God the Holy Ghost, sanctifying men, bless, preserve, and keep us, evermore and evermore. Amen.
Cambridge Offices and Orisons
E. Milner-White, B.T.D. Smith



A hymn text for carolling and to be sung during the Twelve Days of Christmas and at New Year's. This text is most usually sung to the English tune "FOREST GREEN" as arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams in The English Hymnal and The Hymnal 1940.  

Some parishes sing my hymn text to George Frederick Handel's tune CHRISTMAS (No. 577 in The Hymnal 1940) by doubling the fourth and eighth line in each stanza.


Now light your lamps, ye Christians wise
and gather 'neath Christ's Star.
The Light of lights, the Prince of Peace
has come here from afar.
No warrior he, the Word made flesh,
the servant of us all,
the Child whose breathing brings us peace,
whose heartbeat saves us all.

God's mother's face reveals his light
as moon shines by the sun,
And Joseph's eyes filled full with joy
gleam bright with God's own Son.
O Christ our God, true face of God
now cradled in their arms,
O please accept what gifts we bring:
our hearts, our minds, our love.

Child Jesus, hear our fervent prayer
for peace to reign on earth,
for great and small, for rich and poor,
for each to know their worth.
Though fallen be the human race
and sin and hate abound
give peace to all for in each face
thy image still is found.

O sing, you blessed company
of faithful people, Sing !
for God the Child whose very light
demands the darkness flee.
O Trinity of endless light,
with love our praise we bring
where Wisdom found a cave for house
to bring forth earth's true king. 

Copyright © 2007 Vincent Uher
Suggested tunes: Forest Green, Winchester Old (see below)
vincentuher3 at gmail dot com

Click on the hymn image above 
for a larger version for viewing and printing

21 December 2018



The following hymn is appropriate for Christmas, New Year's, Feast of the Holy Family, and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  My hymn text is sung to the tune OLD 113TH which is well known in Wesleyan and Methodist circles as the tune for the hymn "I'll praise my Maker while I've breath".

All glory be to God on high!
Peace, laud, and joy be our reply
To angels singing in the sky.
Praise Jesus Christ, true light from light.
Tender his love and great his might,
Christ Jesus, Saviour, our delight.

O Word and Wisdom, thee we name,
Jesus the Infant, God the same.
Praise and all worship to thy Name.
Son of blest Mary, spotless Lamb,
High Priest most holy, Great I AM,
Receive our lives into thy hand.

Praise God for Joseph, sainted man,
Brave Guardian of God’s saving plan,
Protector of the God-made-man.
Praise God for Mary Mother true,
Faithful to Jesus her life through,
Mother of God, our Mother too.

Lord Jesus Christ, most holy Lord,
With thy blest Spirit be adored
In God’s own glory here outpoured.
Joy now to hear thine infant cries!
Hope of the simple and the wise!
Love from all souls to thee arise!

CreativeCommons (cc) 2008 by Vincent Uher

WORDS: Vincent Wm Uher III
TUNE:  OLD 113th 
(O Mensch, bewein), Strassburger Kirchenamt, 1525

Uher Hymn: Hymn to the Holy Family

for Christmastide to Candlemas - A Hymn inspired by St. Odo

May the Lord of Hosts send you blessing upon blessing this Christmastide.

Hymn to the Holy Family
For the Holy Family of Walsingham

Mother of mercy, peace, and love,
Thy Child is God come from above.
As Christ thou lovest we would too
In all we ponder, say or do.

Joseph the Guardian, brave and wise,
Nothing was hidden from thine eyes.
By dreams the Lord God guided thee
May we follow with constancy.

Father of Jesus, God Most High,
Thy love so great brought Our Lord nigh,
Thy Child, thy gift to free a slave,
Gave thee his Life, the world to save.

A child for us, Friend crucified,
Arisen, present by our side,
Victim and Priest, Oh Mystery!
Lord Jesus Christ, we worship thee.

Glory to God, Father of lights
And to the Son, Lord Jesus Christ,
And Holy Ghost the Comforter:
One God in glory for ever.

Text: CreativeCommons (cc) 2005 by Vincent Uher.

Original Suggested Tune: CORNISH by M. Lee Suitor
(See Hymn 256 in The Hymnal 1982/Hymnbook 1982 for this tune)

Additionally this text has been sung to hymn tunes as varied 
as KEBLE by JB Dykes and DE TAR by Calvin Hampton.

•  •  •

I am posting this hymn again with the note that it is now under CreativeCommons and can be reproduced by parishes, schools, small groups, or families.  I do ask that the text not be altered in any way, and that my name be listed as author of the text.  

I imagined that this would be sung on the Feast of the Holy Family, Mary the Mother of God, Candlemas, or Feasts of Our Lady under her many titles including "of Walsingham".  However, it has more recently been sung on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day during Communion. 

I would love to hear from anyone who makes use of it.  Email can be sent to me: uher AT startmail DOT com – you will need to replace "AT" with the appropriate symbol and replace "DOT" with a "."

+Laus Deo

20 December 2018

Fr Christopher Phillips' verses for "Away in a Manger"

"Adoration of the Magi" at Conception Abbey in Conception, Missouri, USA
(in the magnificent style of Beuron)

I think, dear Reader, you will want to go to Father Christopher Phillips' blog and read the beautiful verses he wrote in 1995 to follow after the first verse of "Away in a Manger".  

Perhaps you will want to sing them together with your family as you gather for Christmas.

The blog post is entitled "Joseph, Just and Kind":   LINK

17 December 2018

Final Advent Thoughts from a Sermon by John Keble


Sermon XXVII:  The Advent Collects IV.


by John Keble

(From four sermons on the collects summing up catechizing 
after the 2nd lesson at the Evening Service.)

found in
Sermons for the Christian Year:  Advent to Christmas Eve

S. MATT. viii. 25.
“His disciples came unto Him, and awoke Him,
saying, Lord, save us we perish.” 

IN the three first Advent collects we look on distinctly to the Day of Judgement, the final Coming of our Lord, and we beseech Him to prepare us for it.  In the collect for the first Sunday, we ask Him in general that we may be ready; the works of darkness cast away, and the armour of light put on.  In the second collect, we beseech God to bless us in our use of Holy Scripture, as one of the chief helps which He has given to bring us to heaven.  In the third, we speak to Him of the holy ministry, the succession of Bishops and priests in His Church, and pray that it may prosper in the work whereunto He ordained it, i.e. the conversion of men’s hearts, that we may he found “an acceptable people at His second Coming to judge the world.” All these petitions you see refer expressly to that second Coming.  But this which is appointed for the fourth and last week in Advent takes rather a different tone.

It speaks, not so much of a future deliverance which the faithful hope for at the end of the world, but of relief wanted immediately, from urgent, overwhelming distress.  “O Lord, raise up, we pray Thee, Thy power and come among us, and with great might succour us.” As if the Almighty had, as it were, gone to sleep, and left us for a time to ourselves: as He did once go to sleep in a vessel, on the sea of Galilee, and when a great storm rose, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full, the disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we perish: carest Thou not that we perish ?“ Upon which our gracious Lord arose, and “rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still; and the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” That short, and earnest prayer of the Apostles, “Lord, save us, we perish,” is the very pattern of a prayer for a Christian man to use when troubles and temptations come thick upon him, so that he scarcely knows which way to turn.  It is a good prayer for the whole Church, in the time of persecution, decay, or distress.  She knows that her Lord is with her; for He has promised to be with her always.  So far the Christians of all times are like the Apostles.  But as He was asleep, so it often seems to our timid eyes and minds, as if He had forsaken us, and were gone to sleep: and then we naturally betake ourselves to earnest prayer, as the Apostles did, “Lord, save us, we perish:”  “O Lord, raise up, we pray Thee, Thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us.”

It is not only a prayer, but a cry; the cry of helpless creatures, in overpowering distress and anguish, to Him Who alone can help and deliver them.  It answers to the cry of the Israelites by the shore of the Red Sea, the sea before and the Egyptians behind; to the prayer of Jonah when he was in the whale’s belly, when he said, “I am cast out of Thy sight; yet will I look again,” just once more will I look again, “toward Thy holy temple.” (Jonah ii. 4.)

It is like Hezekiah’s prayer in his sore sickness, when he seemed at the point of death: " 0 Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me:” (Isa. xxxviii. 14.) or still more is it like the sharp and eager cries of many who came to our Lord, as their only hope of healing from violent or wasting complaints, “Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief:” (S. Mark ix. 24.)  “Lord, come down ere my child die:” (S. John iv. 49.) “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean:” (S. Matt. viii. 2.) “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” (S. Matt. xvii. 13.)  These, and many more outcries of those who came to our Lord in distress are in effect the same as the collect for this week: they are petitions, “that He would raise up His power, and come among us, and with great might succour us.”  That is what we pray for: and the time seems long to us, because of our great need; as it seemed long to the children of Israel in the wilderness; as it seemed long, no doubt, to Jonah whilst he waited in the whale’s belly; to Martha and Mary, while Christ tarried, and did not come directly to heal their brother Lazarus; and to S. Peter after his denial, until he saw his Lord again, thoroughly to humble himself, and to turn that way ever after.  Just so the time seems long both to the bereaved Church, and to particular Christians in affliction.  The souls of the martyrs, pleading for the Church, cry out, “Lord, how long dost Thou not avenge her cause?”

So the afflicted agonizing Christian calls out, “O Lord, make haste to help me.” But here the question might well arise; How comes all this pain, and distress, this fear and anxiety in the Church, now for so many years the chosen and happy Bride of Christ? and how is it that Christian people, long since baptized and put in reach of so high graces, find themselves yet in so great straits? Why, the collect itself gives the answer.  It is, “through our manifold sins and wickedness.” Our sins, and nothing else, are the cause, why we are “sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us.” It is our own sins then, my brethren, from which we ask to be delivered; and that speedily.  Whether we consider the whole Church or the soul of each one of us in particular; our sin is so great an evil, and we so frail and helpless, that we know not how to be delivered from it, except by Christ’s coming especially, by His grace and providence, to deliver us.  For this therefore the Church has instructed us to pray, now that we are so near the very hour of His first coming.

That our prayer may not be in vain, let us think a little, how it is, that the sins and wickedness of Christians do so hinder them in their Christian task, in doing God’s work, and running His race.  It does not always seem so to themselves.  On the contrary, when a man is in the way of indulging any one bad desire, which has come to be a favourite with him, he is apt to fancy that he does not go on the worse for it in other respects.  The angry, the covetous, the proud and vain, nay oftentimes even the dishonest and the unclean, not only say, but really think, that they are in earnest in their devotions, and that on the whole they are getting on, in the way towards heaven.  But it is not so; it cannot be so indeed.  Our sins and wickedness really do hinder us.  Any one of them, if willfully indulged; is enough to stop us altogether, and even those which come upon us by surprise, those which we are ashamed of and strive against, are all in their measure sore lets and hindrances to us; and the further men get on in the way of goodness, so much the more do they feel this, so much the more do they grieve even for their lesser and more pardonable sins.

Good and sincere people know this very well.  But even the ordinary sort may know it, if they will.  I will try and put it before you by a plain example.  Suppose one should go to any person who is leading an irregular indevout life; irregular, I mean, in his duties towards God, making no point of going to Church, and quite neglecting Holy Communion.  If one should go to such a man, and ask him about himself, he might perhaps begin to answer about his distance from Church, his worldly troubles, his much business, or the like.  But, in the end, it would be sure to come out, that it is some sin which is hindering him: he is often provoked to anger, or tempted to take dishonest or unclean liberties, or at any rate his worldly cares haunt and trouble him; he cares too much for this world, to say his prayers in earnest to God; and for these causes he cannot serve God aright.

The waiting on Church and Communion are the race set before him, but these sins and wickednesses hinder him from running it.  Thus you see, the collect speaks the truth, when it lays the chief part of the blame of each man’s imperfection on himself.  It is not outward things, but our own unmortified desires, which let and hinder us from running our Christian race.  We are not so good as we ought to be, because we do not earnestly desire to be so.  If we would open our hearts to the good thoughts, which Almighty God from time to time puts into them: if we would let those drops of heavenly dew sink deep; if we would refresh and renew them by prayer; the difference would very soon appear in our conduct.  The evil is great; but how thankful ought we to be, that the remedy is, by God’s mercy, in our own hands.  Why should not each one of us, this very evening, begin to apply that remedy? What should hinder us, first of all, from joining with all our hearts in the collect which will presently be offered up, in which we are to beseech God that, in consideration of His Son’s being born among us and of our being new born into Him, He would daily renew us with His Holy Spirit? If we ask Him heartily so to raise up His power, and come among us and with great might succour us, without all doubt He will do so.

Of all evenings in the year, this Christmas Eve is not the one, in which our good Lord will turn away from the prayer of any poor penitent, or of any one who but desires to be a penitent.  The Angels, we know, came down on Christmas night, to rejoice with us, and teach us to rejoice at the wonderful Incarnation and Birth of our Divine Saviour; and we trust that they are not far from the hymns and carols of good Christian people, indoors, and out of doors, even on this very night.  Now they are the same Angels, of whom the Truth has told us, “There is joy in their presence” and among them, “over one sinner that repenteth.”  If then in any house, where the Christmas bells or Christmas carols are heard to-night, there be any person, who is in earnest grieved and wearied with the burthen of his sins, whatever those sins have been: let such an one look up and lift up his head, when he hears the joyful sound, let him take it as a sure token that the Lord is even now raising up His power, and coming to him, in His great and loving might, to succour him against those sins, which he now feels to have so sadly hindered him in running the race which was set before him.

Let him make sure that the blessed Angels, who are even now keeping Christmas with us, are rejoicing in these his devout fears and misgivings: and not the Angels only, but the God of the Angels, the Blessed Babe Himself, Who this night laid Himself for us all in the lowly manger.  As surely as He was conceived at Nazareth and born at Bethlehem, so surely will He help and deliver us, and that speedily, if we do but go on sincerely desiring and striving and praying to be delivered from our sins.  He will help each one of us, and He will help His whole Church, now of a long time divided and distressed for no other reason, but that Christians will not be good.

With thoughts like these, let us go home, examine ourselves, say our prayers, and lie down on our beds; and when we awake on Christmas morning, let us endeavour to go back to these same good thoughts: and so on morning by morning.  He will speedily help and deliver us: to us it may seem slowly, but by and by all our trials will seem to have lasted but the twinkling of an eye, if once, by His inconceivable mercy, we may be admitted to His Eternal Joy.

16 December 2018

A Short Commentary for the Third Sunday in Advent


The following comes from 'An Anglican Year' by Donald A. Foster (past Vicar of St. Germain's, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England) which was published in 1953:

To-day's Gospel reminds us of John the Baptist's preparation for Christ, and the kind of life we must lead at all times as a constant preparation for Him. So we pray that all clergy and ministers may remember and act on their primary task of lovingly preparing the hearts and minds of all people for Him, calling to repentance those who need to repent. 

All of us, and especially those who are ordained ministers of the Gospel, are to remember, as St. Paul points out in to-day's Epistle, that there are three judgements on us— (1) by others, that people may look upon us as true ministers of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries, and find us faithful; (2) by ourselves, that we may judge our lives by Christ's standards ; and (3) by God, Who is the ultimate judge.

Let us pray, then. for all Christians, that they may be faithful, seeking to know Christ in prayer, Scripture and Sacrament.

Also let us pray for all ordained clergy and ministers, and especially those about to be ordained (Ember Days this week).

Those to be ordained.
The ministry of the Church.

Various Collects for the Third Sunday of Advent



O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord's Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.
Roman Missal, 3rd ed., of Pope St. John Paul II

O LORD Jesu Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee: Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, 1662, The Church of England

Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the preaching of John, that, rejoicing in your salvation, we may bring forth the fruits of repentance; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.
Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

God for whom we watch and wait,
you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:
give us courage to speak the truth,
to hunger for justice,
and to suffer for the cause of right,
with Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Common Worship, The Church of England

13 December 2018

The Rosy Sequence: Anglican Patrimony

Sarum Gradual, 1527

Cento from Dulcis Iesu Memoria
Translated by J.M. Neale

JESU! the very thought is sweet !
In that dear name all heart-joys meet ;
But sweeter than the honey far
The glimpses of his presence are.

No word is sung more sweet than this :
No name is heard more full of bliss ;
No thought brings sweeter comfort nigh,
Than JESUS, Son of God most high.

JESUS, the hope of souls forlorn,
How good to them for sin that mourn ;
To them that seek thee, O How kind ;
But what art thou to them that find ?

JESUS, thou sweetness, pure and blest,
Truth's fountain, light of souls distrest,
Surpassing all that heart requires,
Exceeding all that soul desires !

No tongue of mortal can express,
No letters write its blessedness :
Alone who hath thee in his heart
Knows, love of JESUS, what thou art.

I seek for JESUS in repose,
Where round my heart the shadows close;
Abroad, and when I shut the door,
I long for JESUS evermore.

As Mary in the morning gloom
Sought out her Master at the tomb,
So now, with love's most earnest cry,
I seek with heart and not with eye.

JESUS, to God the Father gone,
Is seated on the heavenly throne;
My heart hath also passed from me,
That where he is there it may be.

We follow JESUS now, and raise
The voice of prayer, the hymn of praise,
That he at last may make us meet
With him to gain the heavenly seat.

+Iesu dulcis memoria

12 December 2018

YouTube: "TO A MAID ENGAGED TO JOSEPH" by Gracia Grindal


To a Maid Engaged to Joseph

Hymn Text by Gracia Grindal
A Lutheran Advent Hymn

J Michael Thompson · The Schola Cantorum of St. Peter's in the Loop


08 December 2018

Gaudens gaudébo: Introit for the Immaculate Conception


Anglican Observance of the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today (8 December) is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception for Roman Catholics, and for most Anglicans it is known by the ancient title the Feast of the Conception of the Virgin Mary (or the Blessed Virgin Mary).

The feast is observed in most parts of the Anglican Communion although it is not to be found in the Books of Common Prayer of Ireland and the United States. However, some in the United States and Ireland will observe the feast because the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is found in the Kalendar of the Church of England and has been observed in the liturgical calendars of the Anglican Communion's official worldwide bodies called "the instruments of communion".

As a black letter day in the Books of Common Prayer of the Church of England, collects and propers were not printed in the BCP but were authorised from time to time by diocesan bishops under the bishops' ius liturgicum. Sometimes a "Common" of the Blessed Virgin Mary was used for this and other feasts which concerned the Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, Our God and Saviour. Some provinces and national churches of the Anglican Communion have provided collects and sometimes particular propers for this feast.

(1) The following is appointed for the Feast of the Conception of the B.V.M.  in the Scottish Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer, 1929:

who didst endue with singular grace 
the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord: 
Vouchsafe, we beseech thee, 
to hallow our bodies in purity, 
and our souls in humility and love; 
through the same our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

(2) The following is from The Book of Common Prayer, 1954, Church of the Province of Southern Africa:

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, 
who didst prepare the body and soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
that she should become the mother of thy Son: 
Grant that we may be kept unspotted from the world 
and made a pure temple for his dwelling, 
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, 
now and evermore. Amen. 

 (3) The following are found in private Anglican volumes, liturgical books of Anglican religious communities, and diocesan resources in some parts of the Anglican Communion :

O GOD, Most High, 
Who didst endue with wonderful virtue and grace 
the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord: 
Grant that we, who now call her blessèd, 
may be made very members of the heavenly family of Him 
Who was pleased to be called the first-born among many brethren; 
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, world without end. Amen.

hear the supplication of thy servants: 
that we who are gathered together 
to honour the Conception of the Virgin Mother of God, 
may through her intercession 
be delievered by thee from the perils which beset us. 
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
from The Anglican Breviary, 
a private Anglican version 
of the ancient Benedictine Breviary.

who in the foreknowledge of thy Son’s most precious death
didst consecrate for him a dwelling place
by the spotless Conception of the Blessed Virgin:
mercifully grant that she who was preserved from all defilement;
may evermore pray for us until we attain unto thee in purity of heart.
Through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Found in the privately printed volume 
'The Anglican Missal', 
in books of some religious communities, 
and a few diocesan liturgical resources.

04 December 2018

Geoffrey Burgon: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) including 'Nunc Dimittis'


Geoffrey Burgon's music for the BBC series "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" in 1979 remains a favourite of many. Burgon's now famous setting of Nunc dimittis begins at "1:20" in the YouTube file below.

01 December 2018

Enid Chadwick: The Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ


Using the sainted Enid Chadwick's images, let us contemplate the Season of Advent through which we are reminded of the First Coming of Our Lord at Christ-Masse and the Great Advent of Our Lord when He shall return to us in all His Glory and the fulness of His Kingdom:



Our Lady of the Sign, pray for us!

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.  (Where a shorter hymn is needed, the first verse and the last two verses may be sung as a shortened version of this hymn.)

God bless us one and all,

Vincent Uher

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?"

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 blessèd
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 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