March 21, 2007

Blessed be God

On seeing the bold response of our House of Bishops this morning, all I can say is I feel like singing. I will offer some further commentary down the road, but for now, offer this metrical version of the Song of Zechariah, written a year ago as part of my "Mountain Matins" yet incomplete. Sing it to a catchy tune and you'll see how I feel.
[Update: Richard of Caught by the Light suggests Forest Green which I confess works mightily well! For full effect sing broadly with a "folk-song" feel...]

Bless’d be the God of Israel
who sets his people free.
He has raised up a Savior from
the branch of Jesse’s tree.

His prophets promised us of old
that we would find release
from bondage and captivity,
and come to know his peace.

Our forebears heard his promises,
as by himself he swore
that one day we would worship him
in righteousness once more.

And you, my child, shall be the one
to clear your Master’s way,
who’ll guide us out of this dark place
and lead us into day.

So God will let us know of grace,
in saving us from sin,
a light that shines in darkest night
from death our souls will win.

All praise to God the Father, with
the Son and Spirit One,
as was, is now, and will be, while
eternal ages run. Amen.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


R said...

Brother Tobias,

Would that we could sing together.

I will imagine you singing on one coast, while I provide gutsy harmony on the other! :)

God's peace, and thanks to God for this light in the darkness.

R said...

Ha! My brain ended up wandering to Forest Green. No so easy to harmonize improv. Is unison okay?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

I wouldn't have thought of Forest Green but it makes for a stirring combo. Must be sung in unison with a Welsh accent, for maximum effect!

June Butler said...

Tobias, I made up my own simple tune and sang it. What fun! However, I suppose we should get together. I will go with Forest Green, HOWEVER, I have doubts about my Welsh accent.

Unknown said...

I think "Ellacombe" is even better and more exuberently appropriate to your wonderful metrical setting. CyberHymnal (bless them!) has the tune with several different sets of words; one of them is at:

Reverend Ref + said...

I had a few thoughts about these resolutions over at my place last night. Basically, I am very relieved at what has come out of Camp Allen. Now, we just wait and see.

Oh . . . and as for your hymn, I found that it works extremely well to "All glory laud and honor."

Anonymous said...

Funny, after B033 passed, I felt a tremendous sense of sadness for several days, knowing that voices known and unknown to me were crying out in confusion and uncertainty about their place in this denomination. Now, not quite one year later, that same sense of sadness is back. Please pardon me if I don't express joy over this, knowing there are voices known and unknown to me crying out in confusion and uncertainty about their place in this denomination.

Monk-in-Training said...

I am so very glad that our HoB has stood up to the bullying (and that is exactly what it is) from the Africans and more esp. from the Institute for Religion and Democracy, who fund a lot of this stuff. As long as Liberals lay down and take it, they are made to seem the villain. Jesus Himself did not let the Pharisees get away with arrogant rules that constrict people.

I see this as a glad day, let freedom ring!

May Christ bless our Holy Church, and may we continue as best as possible to love all (including those in the IRD & Nigeria, et al) as we love Christ Himself.

†Deo adjuvante, non timendum

†With the help of God, there is nothing to fear


Anonymous said...

John's suggestion of "Ellacombe" led me to the CyberHymnal link, and those wonderful words. As much as I thoroughly like yours, Tobias, these also seem to fit my mood for the day:

Arise, the kingdom is at hand,
The King is drawing nigh;
Arise with joy, thou faithful band,
To meet the Lord most high!
Look up, ye souls, weighed down with care,
The Sovereign is not far;
Look up, faint hearts, from your despair,
Behold the Morning Star!

Look up, ye drooping hearts, today,
The King is very near;
O cast your griefs and fears away,
For, lo, your help is here!
Hope on, ye broken hearts, at last
The King comes in His might;
He loved us in the ages past
When we lay wrapped in night.

Look up, ye souls weighed down with care,
The Sovereign is not far!
Look up, faint hearts, from your despair,
Behold the Morning Star!
The Lord is with us now, Who shall
The sinking spirit feed
With strength and comfort at its need
To Whom e’en death shall bow.

Hope, O ye broken hearts, at last!
The King comes on in might,
He loved us in the ages past
When we sat wrapped in night;
Now are our sorrows o’er, and fear
And wrath to joy give place,
Since God hath made us in His grace
His children evermore.

O rich the gifts Thou bringest us,
Thyself made poor and weak;
O love beyond compare that thus
Can foes and sinners seek!
For this we raise a gladsome voice
On high to Thee alone,
And evermore with thanks rejoice
Before Thy glorious throne.

Unknown said...

Hmmm.... I rather prefer Aurelia... but whatever the tune, the song is sweet!

Anonymous said...

Ok, that was wierd.

I was reading it and a tune came into my head.

And so I grabbed my phone to record it (as I do when I have music snippets pop up unbidden), and it came out another completely different tune.

Anonymous said...

In a bit less of a folk-like vein, I find that the tune to a different paraphrase of the same canticle, Thornbury, works very well indeed.

June Butler said...

Tobias, I see a possible Grammy in your future, but you've got to get just the right music. I'd go for something original, if I were you. When you record you might want to include Richard's voice in "gutsy harmony".

The Patriarch of the West said...

Might I suggest, in all Christian charity, that someone send the Archbishop a teabag.

The Boston tea party was by no means a declaration of independence, but rather the protest of an aggrieved people who expected and deserved better from king and parliament.

By refusing to visit us +Rowan seems only to support the view that the Episcopal Church is an object, a thing which can be fixed rather than a body of Christian believers working "through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish (God's) purposes on earth..." (BCP 815)