MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Something new amidst the traditional Christmas music?

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS AND LINKS TO ALL THE CONTEMPORARY CAROLS PUBLISHED ON THIS BLOG SINCE ITS START


AN ANGEL TOLD SHEPHERDS WITH GREAT, GREAT JOY (CAROL) (Click here)
A simple-to- learn children's carol which tells of the birth of Jesus and the Salvation story. This is simple enough to teach in a service and the suggested activity which can involve small or large numbers of children - and the grown-ups with them!

AT BETHLEHEM IN BORROWED CATTLE STALL (CAROL) (Click here):
 A carol based on the beautiful French folksong Plaisir D'Amour with a fanfare chorus based on the magnificent  Isaiah prophecy "Wonderful, Counsellor... 


BEFORE THE CREATION, THE WORD WAS WITH GOD (HYMN) (Click Here)
A sung version of The Christmas Gospel (John 1. 1 - 15). Sing it  to the tune 'To God be The Glory


BE STILL, SMALL EARTH (CAROL) (Click Here),
also known as 'A Carol of the Cosmos' as it celebrates the cosmic disturbances that marked the birth of Jesus. This is written to be sung to the hymn tune from Finlandia (Please observe the copyright note printed with this carol).


GO TO NAZARETH MY GREAT MESSENGER (CAROL) Click Here Imagines God instructing His Angels from The Annunciation to the warning to Joseph to flee with his new family to Egypt. Lively dance-style tune.

OVER PLAINS OF ARABIA ONE CRYSTAL NIGHT (STAR OF JUBILEE) Click HereStory of the Star sung to the Shaker Tune used for Sidney Carter’s 'Lord of the Dance’

PRAISE THE CREATOR GOD Click Here
Hills of The North Rejoice reframed to start with creation and build to the crescendo of Advent.

STABLE TALK (This Mangers Well Made) - Click HERE
A  carol that gives Joseph a ‘voice’ in the stable as he imagines the future for his new-born son

STARS AND PLANETS SING YOUR GLORY  (HYMN) (Click here).

This hymn of praise, (can be sung ‘Lux Eoi’ (preferred tune) or to the Beethoven tune used for 'Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee’ or another 8.8.8.8 tune) is suitable as a Christmas hymn but can also be used at other times to celebrate Christ as the Lord of the entire cosmos.


STAR OF HIGH HEAVEN by John B Hobbs (Click Here)
Children’s Carol for the Epiphany to the Low German Folk tune Dat Du min leefste best’.

VIVID WINTER'S MORN (CAROL) (Click here)
This carol is intended to be played and sung in rock style

Whilst this post consists of all the contemporary Carols published on this blog, there are also childrens Christmas activities on this blog which you can access by clicking HERE

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

'Faithful Heritage' - Poem for All Saints' Day (and other Saints' Days)

Faithful Heritage

Down through five-score generations
someone passed on belief for me: 
at first, maybe a disciple
who walked beside Christ, strong and free,
inspired by the love of the Master
agog with miracles seen
fervent in faith; bold after Christ’s death
proclaiming New Life, not a dream.  

I give thanks for this faith-filled lineage
as the message was handed on,
through my forbears, or friends, or through clerics;
and sometime through children, in song
with a simple delight in Christ’s stories,
and a wonderful sense of the grace 
in the actions and love of a Saviour
who’s called me, that New Life, to embrace.

Thoughts behind ‘Faithful Heritage’

For several years now particularly at All Saints’-tide, I have marveled that, if I could trace it, there would be a genealogy of believers who have passed on the faith in every generation since Jesus lived with us on earth, until it reached me. In my case my parents, grandparents and, I think, at least two of my great- grandparents are part of that precious chain. For others, it will be people completely out of their own family; but the person who helped them to faith will have their faith-genealogy too. Somewhere down those long lines there will, quite possibly, be a saint who is recognized by the church, maybe a member of The Way persecuted to death for passing on the Good News; maybe someone of Roman extract or of the Norman church; maybe a person or people from a completely different Christian source.

This poem embraces these thoughts and could be linked for an assembly/ collective worship/ all-age service  with the simple but very effective all-age activity which can be found at http://crossandcosmos.blogspot.com/2014/10/all-saints-day-activity-timeline-of.html

In the second verse, there is another possibility that we (my wife, Pam and I) have encountered from time to time – the glorious evangelism of children brought up in the faith. We know from older friends, who in their childhood lived in comparative isolation in a home where the only book was a Bible, that many of the games they played were Biblically based (an opportunity to dig a hole and put your brother into it, for example!). This notion of children playing such a part resonates with Matthew 11.16 (children playing) but even more so with Matthew 18.3, Matthew 19.4 and similar passages in Mark and Luke. (Unless you become like little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven).

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Dragonfly

Dragonfly - picture taken in our garden by Pam
emphasising the delicacy of the wings.

Dragonfly.

What exquisite aerobatics
are being performed above our garden bench?
Gossamer wings,
scarce look able to propel the body
as it turns in an instant;
now, seemingly retracing a flight path,
seeking miniscule prey, 
or maybe a partner 
with whom to procreate.

By this will be sustained
the presence of dragonflies
in this location
with a history
that massively pre-dates
our arrival as owners –
or is it borrowers-
of this small square of territory.

So today, once again, it welcomes
this season’s visitors
having known their
great, great, great, great grandparents
and even more ancient
short-lived generations.

And in this brief watching,
there is blessing,
that we pray will survive
the shifting seasons
of this fragile earth.

The presence of 3 dragonflies in our garden at the beginning of September prompted this poem and also reminded me that in the nine years I worked at Ridley Hall, Cambridge there were two or three days each year when the South-west corner of the quadrangle was filled with maybe a hundred or so of these elegant creatures: beautiful.

Both our garden and Ridley Hall are some 300/500 metres from water.




Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Psalm 93 - Re-imagined for C21st

Moth Galaxy (imagined: acrylic by the author)

You, Lord, are ruler of the whole universe:
you are robed in the fabric of the cosmos
which was established at your Word.
The vastness of space and time
cannot contain you, Lord.
You are from and to everlasting.

Constellations are testimonies to your might,
Planets and their inhabitants praise you
   in joyful outpourings of known and unknown tongues.  

More majestic than the roar of gargantuan waters
that dwarf all of earth’s mighty oceans;
more majestic than storms that are indescribably vast,
are you almighty God
.
You reign in eternity and even now know the
    time of your return and the end-time of the universe .

Your laws guide us into truth, righteousness and justice.
Let me delight in the holiness of your domain
both now and forever, O mighty God.

If you appreciate this sort of re-working, you may like a similar refashioning of part of Job 38 which you can find HERE

Monday, 6 August 2018

Cosmic Doxology (Durham 4)

New post for the Feast of The Transfiguration,
 incorporating the opening themes 
of St Patrick’s Breastplate

Cosmic Doxology (87.87.D)  
Suggested Tune: Blaenwern (Love Divine)
  
Christ  before us, Christ within us,
Christ to left and Christ to right.
Christ whose love enfolds all creatures,
Christ the source of life and light.
Christ the cosmic Lord of glory,
Christ who battled sin’s great curse,
Christ the risen and ascended
Sanctifies the universe.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Give Thanks to God for Human Brains (Hymn) (Durham 3)

Catch a Wave: Credit ScienceNews Org
Visit the site at
The article referred to  reflects particularly the last two lines of verse 4

Give Thanks to God for Human Brains,
(8.7.8.7 D) Suggested tune ‘Harvest Hymn’/ ‘Golden Sheaves’: ‘To Thee. O Lord, Our Hearts we Raise’) (Durham 3)

Give thanks to God for human brains,
Great gift of evolution,
Enabling us to find our ways
From problems to solutions.
Our brains let us communicate,
To think through fact or story,
Control our senses, move our limbs,
And comprehend God’s glory.

Give thanks to God for children’s brains
Which wonderfully develop;
First forming in their mothers’ wombs,
expanding as they grow up:  
This pattern builds a vital base,
With myriad brain cells forming. 
And in this phase, parental love
a child’s self-worth is forging.

Give thanks for youth with agile brains
who can bring new perceptions,
As neurons and synapses fire,
Suggesting fresh directions,
from those which were established by
their former generations,
and help society make sense
of rapid innovation.

Give thanks to God for brains mature
Which cope with complex matters,
In every human path of life,
that need considered answers:
they draw on information that
their full-grown brains can process
through electronic signalling
And chemical responses.


Give thanks to God that much research
Is focused on the ageing,
Whose brains can lose ability
As links and cells are failing.
With neuroscience opening up 
Much greater comprehension,
Maybe dementia’s sadnesses
Will soon be overtaken.

This is another hymn that stems from my term at St John’s College as a Visiting Fellow at the invitation of the Principal, Prof. David Wilkinson, astrophysicist, theologian and broadcaster.

This time enabled me to speak with scientists on their own subjects and frame some hymns and songs with the benefit of having one of the University staff cast their eye over my writing. For this particular hymn, I am indebted to Prof. Amanda Ellison in the Psychology Dept at the University for looking at the stages of the brain I selected to express thanksgiving, awe and wonder at the nature and development of the human brain.

Other hymns, songs and poems of faith and science can be found on this blog HERE

A celebration of all our senses can be found HERE

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Does the God who Lived a Human ...? (Durham 2)

Creation window at St Oswald's Durham

During the last term as a visiting fellow at St John’s College, Durham the issue of climate change emerged in several contexts. This hymn has its roots in a conversation with a very convicted theologian who has very deep concerns for the next generation. I am indebted to her for these ideas which follow very appropriately from my last post ‘As Mighty Glaciers recede' 

Does the God who Lived a Human    (Durham 2)
(Recommended tune:Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow 8.7 D)

Does the God who lived a human,
weep with anger, weep with rage,
at the sweep of gross injustice 
in this money-driven age?

Wealth and arrogance are forcing
powerless people to the brink;
such as those who live in terror
that their homes and fields will sink.

Add to that the lies and falsehoods 
in our corridors of power: 
Lord of justice, cause your people 
to rise up in this dark hour.

Seeking truth and resolutely 
challenging both lies and wealth  
that are careless of resources,
or strip others of their health. 

Listen now to children’s wisdom,
many of whom recognise
that unless we change our lifestyle
earth is facing its demise .

If we strive more for your vision
of an earth where love and care
guide the actions of its people,
hope can flower and rout despair.

So, bring hope, O great Creator,
let the planet’s saving be
hastened by your Holy Spirit,
calling leaders, calling me.

Other Care of our Planet hymns and songs on this blog can be found HERE

Thursday, 21 June 2018

As Mighty Glaciers Recede (Poem/Hymn):( Durham 1)

Credit NASA: Muir Glacier 1941/2004


 As Mighty Glaciers Recede (Poem or hymn which can be sung to any 8.8.8.8 tune: suggested tune Grenoble (Awake, Awake, Fling off The Night))  (Durham 1*)

As mighty glaciers recede
and leave great scars which cause alarm;
Be sure it is the rising heat
Of greenhouse gasses causing harm.

When coastal glaciers discharge
Their rapid melt, to chilly seas:
We know, that ocean levels will   
Rise swiftly and inexorably. 

By contrast, mountain glaciers
cause havoc through reduced cascades,
so downstream waters can’t suffice
to turn hydraulic turbine blades.

We need to switch from fossil fuels
To wind and wave and solar power:
Renewables already can
make all these risks a little lower.

For everyone who loves the earth
Clean energy must be the aim,
To strengthen hope the planet can      
Be saved through this essential change.

The evidence of shrinking ice
invites all those who love the Lord -
Be stewards wise – and build up hope   
of justice for the coastal poor.

For as such massive change takes place
The least resourced will bear the toll
Of harshness in the furious wake
Of worsening weather through the world.

* I would like to thank Professor Chris Stokes in the Geography Department at Durham University for his help in inspiring the idea of writing about glaciers and ensuring the accuracy of the scientific aspects of this poem/hymn: composed during my stay at St John’s College as Visiting Fellow for the term.


Other Care of The Planet poems, hymns and songs can be found on this blog HERE






Friday, 8 June 2018

Source of The Fundamental Forces (Hymn)

Source of the fundamental forces,
Jesus Christ our Lord;
Setting primeval plasma coursing
Through His mighty Word.
Called from the womb of the void,
Particles deployed,
Wisdom decreed
These are the seeds
Of creation’s form.

Source of the simple organisms
That evolved on earth.
Deep in the wellsprings, God was minded
To bring life to birth,
Through several billion years
Reasoning minds appeared
Shaped to explore
Wonder and awe,
At creation’s forms.

Source of the love that deep enfolds us,
Saviour, Master, King;
Seeing our wayward human natures
You gave everything
To liberate our race,
By your amazing grace:
Tortured to death;
In your last breaths,
Promised eternal rest.

Source of all holy inspiration,
Spirit of the Lord,
Breathe into us desire and urge to
Worship and adore.
You, Lord, who formed all things, 
Hear us as we now sing.
Giver of light,
Giver of life,
Praise to you, Lord of all.

(c) Trevor Thorn, April 2018.





Monday, 28 May 2018

Hot, Clear Steam (Hot Cross Buns)

Hot, Clear Steam - sing it to the tune of 'Hot Cross Buns’ (Score below)
This might be helpful in thinking about the Trinity.

Hot, clear steam: hot, clear steam,
When it cools it turns into
a water stream.
If it keeps on cooling,
it will turn to ice.
So as steam cools down and down,
It changes twice.

Butterflies, flutter by:
caterpillars, chrysalids
until they fly.
Eggs to caterpillars
which in time pupate,
then emerge with gorgeous wings 
as they change state.

Toads and frogs, start as spawn,
tadpoles soon, grow breathing gills
as they change form .
then as they develop,
tails will disappear,
legs grow strong to swim and jump 
In pond or air.

Father, Son: Spirit come,
never changing, Everlasting 
Three-in-one.
God our great Creator,
Jesus, Lord and King
loves to care for everyone
and everything.





Monday, 14 May 2018

Suns of Great Brilliance


Suns of Great Brilliance
Can be sung to the tune ‘Bunessan’.

Suns of great brilliance pierce through our darkness,
From their colossal distance in space;
If their light dips it may be a planet
Making a transit of that star’s face.

Like ours, those suns may have many planets
Circling close or orbiting wide,
Rocky or gaseous, balmy or frigid,
Maybe benign or sterile to life.

Far in the future there may be humans
Making their way to planets afar:
Will they be stewards with good intentions,
Or will their greed those pristine worlds scar?

Pray that our race would honour the wonders
Of God’s creation’s beauty and worth,
Ever alert to how careless commerce
Threatens the fragile, as here on earth.

Other material with a ‘Care of the Planet’ theme can be found  HERE






Cross of Nails (CGI)

Cross of Nails (CGI)
Let this 'Cross of Nails' lead you to "O Dare I Gaze Upon The Cross' with its newly published tune.

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Nativity Star (CGI)

Nativity Star (CGI)
Nativity Star: This image will link you to the collection of new Carols on this site. Also, the image can easily be copied onto an overhead acetate and used as a window decoration. Easy for children to achieve. Note the cross at the centre of the star.

My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy

My Mesh Mask for Radiotherapy
This is the mask which was moulded to my face to ensure the radiotherapy I had in April 2017 was precisely targeted. You can read more by clicking on the image

Double Celebration

Double Celebration
Pam, who has been magnificent in caring for me since my Cancer diagnosis in October and I celebrate the end of Radiotherapy and our 36th Wedding Anniversary (Note the return of some hair!). Click on the image to read about the treatment - and waiting.

St Neots Sunset (Photo)

St Neots Sunset (Photo)
Surrounded by beauty: Whie 'Evolution and Beauty' became one of the most viewed poems on this blog, Pam, my wife took this gorgeous picture of a sunset over the flatlands of Cambridgeshire UK. Click on it to go to the poem

Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015

Gabriel - written/painted by Pam, my wife in 2015
Gabriel began the Christmas story with his visit to Mary. The story is told in our Christmas collection in the Carol, Go to Nazareth My Great Messenger. Click on this image to take you there.

Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)

Maple Leaf Nebula (CGI)
IMAGINARY IMAGE TO CELEBRATE CANADA DAY: Click on this his imaginary 'Maple Leaf Nebula' to take you to a poem entitled 'Nebula' (image not to be confused with NGC 2024, the Flame Nebula which is also known as the Maple Leaf)

Beauty in the Garden - June 2016

Beauty in the Garden - June 2016
Beauty in the Garden - June 2016

Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)

Aurora Imagined over Iona (Watercolour & pastel)
First posted here on Adomnan’s day (23rd September) 2015. An imagined natural phenomenom that could be seen to resonate mystically with the idea of Iona being a ‘thin place’ where heaven brushes earth.

Assisi Sunset

Assisi Sunset
Assisi Sunset

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'