25 September 2013

This evening’s service and hymns

‘I urge you that supplication, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions …’ (I Timothy 2: 1-2) … images from the West Front of Lichfield Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The new academic year began on Monday morning, and this afternoon [24 September 2013] I am presiding at the first Wednesday evening Community Eucharist of the first semester.

The readings at this evening’s Community Eucharist, along with the Collect and Post-Communion Prayer, are those for last Sunday, the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity: Jeremiah 8: 18 to 9: 1; Psalm 79: 1-9; I Timothy 2: 1-7; and Luke 16: 1-13.

Our processional hymn, ‘Who are we who stand and sing’ (Hymn 532), is by Herbert O’Driscoll, the Cork-born Irish hymn writer. He was ordained for Monkstown, Co Dublin, in 1952, but has served most of his ministry in Canada and the US. He has been chaplain to the Canadian navy, Dean of Christ Cathedral, Vancouver, Warden of the College of Preachers in Washington DC, and Rector of Christ Church, Calgary.

This hymn was sung at the opening of the 1988 Lambeth Conference in Canterbury and was the processional hymn in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, at the service marking the launch of Irish Church Praise in 1990. The tune, Monks Gate, was first arranged for ‘He who would valiant be’ by Vaughan Williams after he heard it in a Sussex village.

We are singing the canticle Gloria as Hymn 693, written by the Revd Christopher Idle, to the tune Cuddesdon by the Revd William Harold Ferguson.

The Gradual, ‘O Christ the same, through all our story’s pages’ (Hymn 103), was written by Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith for the Cambridge University Mission in 1971, and it was intended for use at the beginning of a new year or when parishes and church organisations are venturing out on a new stage. It is set to the Londonderry Air, a tune once described by Sir Hubert Parry as ‘one of the most perfect in existence.’

Our Offertory hymn, ‘Take my life, and let it be’ (Hymn 597), was written by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879), who once described it as her ‘consecration prayer.’ She chose a quotation from the Prayer of Oblation in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer to precede this hymn in one of her collections: ‘Here we offer and present unto Thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto Thee.’

We go out into the world singing our Recessional hymn, ‘Let all the world in every corner sing’ (Hymn 360). This is a poem from the collection The Temple by George Herbert (1593-1633), and may have been intended originally as an anthem.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you:
Teach us to offer ourselves to your service,
that here we may have your peace,
and in the world to come may see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Post-Communion Prayer:

God our guide,
you feed us with bread from heaven
as you fed your people Israel.
May we who have been inwardly nourished
be ready to follow you
all the days of our pilgrimage on earth,
until we come to your kingdom in heaven.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Whosoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much … (Luke 16: 10) … high-denomination banknotes from 1940s Greece that are now worthless

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