Church of England Daily Prayer - Contemporay - Combined Prayer

Trinity Daily Prayer

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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Office Hymns for the Triumph of the Holy Cross

It is tempting to select crucifixion themed hymns, or Hymns of Good Friday, of which there are many for today. But the feast is specifically about the cross and about its exaltation. Hymns for Prayer and Praise has a good text at #439 the first verse is:

Behold, before our wondering eyes,
Beyond the gates of paradise
Shines out the Tree of Life adored,
The cross of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Genevieve Glen OSB

and at #440 a text by Delores Dufner OSB whose last verse is:

Let no one boast but in the Cross,
Unmeasured mercy's saving sign;
At home beneath its boughs we live,
At peace in Christ, by Love's design.

Aelred-Seton Shanley has two good hymns:

Behold the Cross, the tree of life
where set the Sun whom we betrayed;
here he in flesh who fleshed our race,
our sentence bore, our ransom paid.

O barren wood, now bloodied, nailed,
which reeks of rancid wine and scorn;
from you springs up the shoot of life:
a new humanity is born.

O cross burned in the human heart,
whose shadow circles all in night;
within your darkness dawns our hope:
the slaughtered lamb, the world's true light.

Immortal, holy, mighty God
whose love for us, by spear, floods forth;
with awe we hymn this mystery:
Life self-consumed in holocaust.

O Trinity, out poured in Love,
embracing earth upon this cross;
all praise be yours as we proclaim
life's glorious rising and its source.

The second seems to capture a good strong Easter tone and sense of exaltation:

O Cross of Christ, which once dealt death:
Our joy, life and victory!
Your rad'iance dawned with Easter Day,
your Glory, only faith can see.

O fragrant and fruit bearing tree,
bring hope to peoples everywhere;
Love's answer, heal our world of hate,
bring light where there is dark despair.

To you be glory, Lord of Life,
hose heart was pierced upon this tree.
Our praise, our lasting love, our thanks
both now and in eternity.

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