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January 22nd, 2006

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10:50 pm - Old Prayers
Tonight, during the worship at my church, a psalm and a John Donne poem were read.

Both of them, I have used as prayers myself, in the past. I don't mean once or twice; I mean I've lived with these words breathing in and out of me. Yet until tonight, I don't think I'd ever heard anyone use either one in a church setting.

Psalm 13

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

Holy Sonnet XIV

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Current Mood: remembering

(11 lit candles | Light a candle)


[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 08:25 am (UTC)
I generally only use the Lord's Prayer and the Creed. But it's funny that you should have chosen those two, because they are close to two prayers (or poems, as I think of them) that mean most to me: Psalm 18(19) - The heavens proclaim the glory of the Lord - and Donne's sonnet beginning Wilt Thou forgive that sin whence I began? Funny: so close, and yet so far.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)

I, too, use the Lord's Prayer...and many other scriptures and poems (Gerard Manley Hopkins comes to mind, as well as Donne), and prayers like St. Patrick's Breastplate.
Date:January 23rd, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)

Song of Lament

These are one of the two types of songs our minister spoke about last week. The songs--that Christians need to learn and encorporate into daily worship (we're doing a year-long study of worship)-- are the song of joy and the song of lament. Yours are, of course, of the lament variety, and are quite beautiful. The song/lyrics Craig (the minister in question) used in his message was "Blessed Be Your Name" by Matt Redmond. It contains both types of songs. Lyrics can be found here:


It was a really good message, and I'm not doing it justice in the above description. It's available on-line but doesn't seem to be accessible at the moment. If you like, I'll let you know when it is.

Just thought I'd share. This must be something else I'm supposed to learn, as this is the second time it's been brought to my attention in a short period of time.

Happy Monday,

[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Song of Lament

Hey, I know that song, we sing it at my church. :-) A good example, too, huh, because it's both a song of joy and of lament. Sort of.

I think I need to learn the song of joy... at least learn to use it more than I have. I've got the song of lament down. *g*

Just thought I'd share. This must be something else I'm supposed to learn, as this is the second time it's been brought to my attention in a short period of time.

You think so? Well, we'll learn together, maybe. Cool.

Happy Monday to you too!
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
Okay, wow. The first one? They had a sermon about that in...oh, around August at North Shore Alliance. I cried through most of it. It was at the beginning of the prison period. It's crazy to read it again.

And the second one? I forgot about that poem. It's so beautiful.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've heard either of those before - but they ARE beautiful.

I tend to repeat the Lord's Prayer, and The New Creed of the United Church of Canada:

We are not alone,
we live in God's world.

We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God's presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.

We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

But mostly I sing hymes. I've got over a hundred I know all the words to and call up from memory when appropriate.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
That's pretty cool; I only recently memorized the older Creeds.

And I wish I knew hymns! Unfortunately (at least in that one regard), I was raised in a charsimatic/Pentacostal church, so praise songs are much more familiar to me. Or were. I'm picking up some hymns from my current Presbyterian church; and when I was in Canada for school, I went to an Anglican church and they also sang hymns.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
Wheras I'm really not familiar with praise songs - or at least don't know the term.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
They're songs that are too newfangled to be called hymns. Y'know, like being less than a century old... (grin)
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2006 11:03 pm (UTC)

Ah! As my denomination is less than a century old, we just call those "Hymns" too.
Date:January 23rd, 2006 09:57 pm (UTC)


"And I wish I knew hymns!"

Then you mustmustMUST check out Selah's newest album, "Greatest Hymns." My DH downloaded it from iTunes, and the disc currently lives in my car's CD player. It's got many of the "oldies" that I was raised on, Be Thou My Vision and How Great Thou Art (which I remember falling in love with as a wee squeaker) are two of my veryveryVERY faves. I can sing along to almost all of them (which is one of the reasons it lives in my car: I sing when I drive), though there are a few I'm not familiar with (though me mum knows them all). One of my faves from the disc is "By and By," though I can't sing with it yet because I don't know the English lyrics (again, Mum does. She did one of those familiarity squeals: "OOOOOOoooohhhhh!!!! I was raised on this one!" when she heard the melody), but this particular recording is a translation into a different language, Kituba, which is a language of the Congo.

Okay, I'm babbling. Way TMI, I'm sure. Can you tell I rec this disc very highly?

Oh! You'll want the link:


Go. Listen (if your computer will let you). You'll have these songs running through your head for days. (One of the nice things about the old hymns, imo, is that they're very hummable.)


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