March 27, 2013

Praying through Hymns | Canticle of the Turning

I was sitting in Chapel today and was reminded of my feelings toward hymns. Sometimes my mouth hurts at the end of a hymn because they are sung so slowly. Other times the spirit swirls around us the piano cuts out and only lifted voices are heard. HMM. I love singing with my fellow Brethren.

In the realm of pop-y, main stream Christian music I think hymns oft get overlooked. And I'm just not feeling the rapped version of Nothing but the Blood - it's not doing it for me. Neither is the Christian Side Hug, but that's a different topic all together.  I too went through a phase where I was just OVER hymns...but I think it had more to do with hymns sounding luke-warm or without passion- rather than new life, joy, and true praise of God.

A facebook friend posted a link to the Goshen College Choir singing "Canticle of the Turning." OH. MY. GOSH. 1) I LOVE this song and 2) Their clip is short but oh, so beautiful!

I first heard the "Canticle of the Turning" at a Mennonite church last year during Easter...and subsequently fell in love. Then, I heard it a couple months later at a Brethren church. These anabaptist traditions got it going on!

In an effort to take the lyricism of hymns more to heart and render them more to God's praise, I am going to blog a few of my favorite hymns for my own personal reflection. This week, as part of my praying through it's lyrics, I listened to the song several times and did a crayon-ing of some of the images from the song.

Canticle of the Turning
Written by Rory Cooney | To the Tune of "Star of the County Down" 

 My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant's plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn!

Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me,
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and to those who would for you yearn,
You will show your might, put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn.

From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev'ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
There are tables spread, ev'ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.

Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God's mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror's crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound,
'Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around.


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