for Pentecost and Springtime

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The May Magnificat

May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why;
    Her feasts follow reason,
    Dated due to season –

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady month, May
    Why fasten that upon her,
    With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only in its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
    Is it opportunist
    And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother;
Her reply puts this other
    Question: What is Spring?
    Growth in every thing –

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
    Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
    Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
    And bird and blossom swell
    In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
    With that world of good
    Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
    How she did in her stored
    Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this;
Spring’s universal bliss
    Much, had much to say
    To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard apple
    And thicket and thorn are merry
    With silver surfed cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks  and brakes wash wet like lakes
    And magic cuckoocall
    Caps, clears, and clinches all –

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth until Christ’s birth
    To remember and exultation
    In God who was her salvation.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Hymns of the Holy Spirit

We are your people:
Lord, by your grace,
you dare to make us
Christ to our neighbours
of every nation race.

How can we demonstrate
your love and care?
speaking or listening?
battling or serving?
help us to know when and where.

Called to portray you,
help us to live
closer than neighbours
open to strangers,
able to clash and forgive.

Glad of tradition,
help us to see
in all life's changing
where you are leading,
where our best efforts should be.

Joined in community,
breaking your bread,
may we discover
gifts in each other,
willing to lead and be led.

Lord, as we minister
in different ways,
may all we're doing
show that you're living,
meeting your love with our praise.

(AMNS 515)

There's a spirit in the air,
telling Christians everywhere:
'Praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world'.

Lose your shyness, find your tongue,
tell the world what God has done:
God in Christ has come to stay;
we can see his power today.

When believers break the bread,
when a hungry child is fed,
praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world.

Still his spirit leads the fight,
seeing wrong and setting right:
God in Christ has come to stay;
we can see his power today.

When a stranger's not alone,
where the homeless find a home,
praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world.

May his spirit fill our praise,
guide our thoughts and change our ways.
God in Christ has come to stay;
we can see his power today.

There's a spirit in the air,
calling people everywhere;
Praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world.

(AMNS 519)

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire;
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above
Is comfort, life, and fire of love;
Enable with perpectual light
The dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of thy grace:
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where thou art guide no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And thee, of both, to be but One;
That through the ages all along
This may be our endless song:

'Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.'

(AMNS 93)

Hymn to the Holy Spirit
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

Oh fiery Spirit, praise to you
who stirs us with cymbals,
soothes us with the lute!
From you the minds of men catch fire; you know
how to set up the body’s
tent, to house the soul.

From both, the Will ascends: lends the Soul
sapience, to taste the world;
desires, to light it.
Our understandings make
music with you, set up the Spirit’s workshop
distilling golden deeds.

The secateurs are in your hand to cut
that apple - full of the black Parasite
who clouds our wills, and poisons
our longings; sets our souls in a flap
wheeling and screaming round, nowhere to settle -
till the mind, restored, restrains those wills and those desires.

If our spirit is tempted to look
through that evil eye - or talk
with that ‘wicked’ tongue - you throw it back on the fire;
If our reason is down on the boards, knocked cold
by our own bad deeds, you pound it up even smaller
and brew it up afresh - like a new Creation.

If evil draws a knife
or gun on you, you’re faster: down he goes again
who made Heaven itself a penthouse for his pride.

You’ve made another tower to stand in Heaven
from publicans and sinners - those who daren’t
look up, who beat their breasts.

So every creature that takes life from you
praises you - precious ointment
who turns stinking wounds to precious jewels.

Descend to us;
gather us to yourself;
Show us the paths of life. Amen.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
Paraphrased from an English translation by Sabina

Hymn to the Holy Spirit
Charles Wesley
1 Jesus, we on the word depend,
Spoken by thee while present here,
"The Father in my name shall send
The Holy Ghost, the Comforter."
2 That promise made to Adam's race,
Now, Lord, in us, even us, fulfill;
And give the Spirit of thy grace,
To teach us all thy perfect will.
3 That heavenly Teacher of mankind,
That Guide infallible impart,
To bring thy sayings to our mind,
And write them on our faithful heart.
4 He only can the words apply
Through which we endless life possess,
And deal to each his legacy,
His Lord's unutterable peace.
5 That peace of God, that peace of thine,
Oh, might he now to us bring in,
And fill our souls with power divine,
And make an end of fear and sin;
6 The length and breadth of love reveal,
The height and depth of Deity;
And all the sons of glory seal,
And change, and make us all like thee!



Fish (fly-replete in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish  say,  they have their  Stream or Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
Or how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud!- Death eddies near—
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time,
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The little fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.

Rupert Brooke

Pictures from Pentecost at St Faith's 2009

Pictures from Pentecost at St Faith's 2008

Pictures from Pentecost at St Faith's 2005

A page of prayers and hymns for the season of Pentecost

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