13 July 2008

Father Andrew of East London

anglo-catholic Church of England monk

These days there are very, very few who remember Father Andrew. I suspect this has a great deal to do with the scattering and expulsion of anglo-catholics from the Anglican Communion. My intention with this post is to shine light on two of his poems that would make marvellous hymns. The first poem entitled "The Sacred Wounds" is very simple and straightforward. The impulse within it, of the soul seeking blessing so as to entirely serve Christ, is very similar to the type of prayer known generally as a Wesleyan or Methodist Covenant Prayer. The second entitled "Laudamus" is a splendid hymn of praise.

THE SACRED WOUNDS by Father Andrew

O DEAREST Lord, Thy sacred Brow
With thorns was pierced for me :
O pour Thy blessing on my head,
That I may think for Thee.

O dearest Lord, Thy sacred Hands
With nails were pierced for me ;
O send Thy blessing on my hands,
That they may work for Thee.

O dearest Lord, Thy sacred Feet
With nails were pierced for me ;
O send Thy blessing on my feet,
That they may follow Thee.

O dearest Lord, Thy sacred Heart
With spear was pierced for me :
O shed Thy blessing on my heart,
That I may live for Thee.

One cannot help but make the connexion to the Theresian Carmel and St. Teresa of Ávila's own words of commission to her sisters.

LAUDAMUS by Father Andrew

PRAISE we our God, for we are His creation !
Naught life can bring should make His sons afraid.
Keep we our souls for Him a pure oblation :
In His own perfect Image we were made.

Praise we the Saviour for His great salvation !
We are the purchase of His precious Blood;
He King and Priest of God's own holy nation,
Himself our Leader, and Himself our Food.

Praise we the Spirit, Comforter indwelling !
Lifting our lives to ways of righteousness.
Praise we the love of God, all love excelling !
Live we in love with God's own loveliness.

As I have said before I believe a local musician knows best which tune to pair with what text so that an unfamiliar text may be given a chance being buoyed aloft by a locally familiar tune. Sometimes though a new tune is the best partner for a text, and I am of the opinion that a tune named SADIE, the copyright of which is held by Selah Publishing in the USA, is the perfect partner for Father Andrew's poem on the Wounds of Our Lord.

+Ora pro nobis.