Prayer for Our Nation

John Newton  [1725-1807]

Lord, while Thy judgments shake the land,
Thy people’s eyes are fixed on Thee;
We own Thy just uplifted hand,
Which thousands cannot, will not, see.

How long hast Thou bestowed Thy care
On this indulged, ungrateful spot!
While other nations, far and near,
Have envied and admired our lot.

Here peace and liberty have dwelt,
The glorious Gospel brightly shone;
And oft our enemies have felt
That God has made our cause His own.

But ah! both heaven and earth have heard
Our vile requital of His love;
We, whom like children He has reared,
Rebels against His goodness prove.

His grace despised, His power defied,
And legions of the blackest crimes,
Profaneness, riot, lust, and pride,
Are signs that mark the present times.

The Lord, displeased, has raised His rod;
Ah! where are now the faithful few
Who tremble for the Ark of God,
And know what Israel ought to do?

Lord, hear Thy people everywhere,
Who meet to mourn, confess, and pray;
The nation and Thy churches spare,
And let Thy wrath be turned away.

Santería

Ogun owed Oxun for the fee he paid
to divorce Yemayá in the watery deep.
Babalu Aye‘s messenger delayed
(no rum in the bargain – price too steep)
until San Martín, divine caballero
deceived the third wife of el Indio Guerrero.

(Obatala‘s beats got lost in transit
the rhythm robbed by macumba-bandit.)

Eleguá cleared paths for He Who Opens Pores.
Black roosters smoked puros at midnight. Outdoors,
Santa Muerte was asked to turn down the noise
so Nana Buluku could get some sleep.

As she gathered ashé, reduced to a heap
of Yoruba fool’s gold anointed with blood
Oduduwa pretended he understood;
but his mother-in-law knew he never would
until Olódùmarè returned from the feast
having sacrificed roosters while facing east.

The santero drew me a pictogram
to protect me from forces my poem conjured
but the blood of a sacrificed perfect lamb
affords more protection, I knew. He wondered.

dessin vaudou 1

Smokin’ Pipes (All Saints 2015 !)

Holy Karaoke – it doesn’t get much better than this!       (…or DOES  it ? )

Isn’t this where the expression “pull out all the stops” comes from ?
Try singing along. (And let’s hear it for decasyllabic hymnody !)

Let the Church roll on…

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the apostles’ glorious company,
who bearing forth the cross o’er land and sea,
shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
is fair and fruitful, be thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
and seeing, grasped it, thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win, with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
and singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

William W. How   (1823-1897)
Thanks to:    http://www.oremus.org