Sunday, 2 August 2009

The Day Thou Gavest...

These are the first words of one of Mausi's favourite hymns. Mausi heard it for the first time when she attended her first Evensong at Tewkesbury Abbey. This hymn was sung during the service and just fitted Evensong perfectly - Mausi distinctly felt a sense of peace and tranquillity settling upon her.

She was strongly reminded of the hymn while watching this evening sky picture roll out before her eyes a few days ago. Typical for this year's summer the afternoon had been filled with heavy showers and gusty winds but suddenly the sky had cleared into an unbelievable shade of blue, the last wisps of black rain clouds were driven away and the dry white clouds seemed to try and settle down on the hillsides around for a brief rest before moving on. Wherever the sun could get through it put a golden shine on the clouds. Very beautiful, especially as it was darkening on the ground already.

The day, thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
the darkness falls at thy behest;
to thee our morning hymns ascended,
thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank thee that thy Church unsleeping,
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping,
and rests not now by day or night.

As o'er each continent and island
the dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking
our brethren 'neath the western sky,
and hour by hour fresh lips are making
thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord, thy throne shall never,
like earth's proud empires, pass away;
thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever,
till all thy creatures own thy sway.
John Ellerton (1826-1893)

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