Friday 18 December 2009


I took delivery of the 2009 Unitarian hymn book today, Sing Your Faith, and I think it is better than my first impressions that led me to order it for myself. Good value too, at £12.70 including postage and packing (at the moment).

The hymn book deliberately does not repeat hymns in existing British Unitarian hymn books. These are Hymns for Living (1985), Hymns of Faith and Freedom (1991) and Y Perlau Moliant Newydd (1997). Thus the previous books can be kept and used.

I could not disagree with this opinion more, from Wakefield:

In opening the meeting, President John Goodchild... referred to the new hymn book, Sing Your Faith: he found its words trite but felt that the congregation should explore it to discover its treasures, preferably singing no more than one new hymn in a service.

Here are two hymns from fairly random viewing I rather like, among the very large number I alread rather like, so I put these out as a couple of examples. The first concerns animals, the second a town you live within.

93 Let us sing of earth's progression HOLYWELL 87.87.D.

Let us sing of earth's progression
from the cruel, base and mean;
not all wrong and all transgression
has our story always been.
On good Francis birds alighted;
Kevin held his hand as nest;
human thought has wrought regression,
yet by humans, life is blest.

Such was Cuthbert's revelation;
he stood singing in the sea
as the seals in celebration
barked their Benedicite.
Though we take these tales as legend,
in them shines divinity
and we make our sung elation
for all insights gained of thee.

Not of force and domination
over land and air and sea,
but with love's co-operation
sing we this theology.
God of stars and God of spider,
God of fruitbat and of flower,
we are agents with creation
working with the Spirit's power.

Angus Martin Parker

The hymn refers to 3 Christian saints associated with animals
1. St. Francis of Assisi 1181-1226
2. St. Kevin (5th century) Irish saint with an affinity for blackbirds
3. St. Cuthbert (d. 687) who swam with the seals at Lindisfarne

Words copyright Angus Parker. Used by permission.

130 Ours is a town for everyone RODMELL C.M.

Ours is a town for everyone
who wants to play their part
in making it a better place
to practise living's art.

Ours is a town where every faith,
all creeds of hope and peace,
can worship freely, yet recall
we are one human race.

Ours is a town where we must care
for those whose lives are hard,
for whom bright mornings turn to tears
and all once fair seems marred.

Ours is a town where, side by side
in friendship and goodwill,
we'll build a place where all can be
respected and fulfilled.

So let us celebrate our town
and pledge ourselves to be
the ones who make it beautiful,
safe, prosperous and free.

Clifford Martin Reed b. 1947

Words © Clifford Martin Reed. Used by permission.

1 comment:

Brad Evans said...

"God of the fruitbat"?
How about "God of the Moonbat" for George Monbiot/global warming?
I thought this was parody till I saw the blog heading.