General (Vol. 3)

The Holy Catholic Church

Part i.

  1. Martyred for pleasure and to warn
    What fate flowed from Imperial scorn,
    They meekly bore the taunts and rage
    To keep our Sacred heritage:
    Slow torture or the sudden spear
    Might fill the captives' hearts with fear
    But they went bravely to their death,
    Forgiving with their dying breath.
  2. Pampered with safe and pleasant laws
    In a benign and liberal cause
    We meekly bear indifference
    To keep religion on the fence:
    The poison's drip or harsh attack
    Might goad us briefly to fight back
    But we chat calmly to our host,
    Denying what we should love most.
  3. Grounded in love and courtesy,
    May we Your faithful pilgrims be,
    Meek in our hearts with posture brave,
    Saved, may we always want to save:
    Slow to condemn but quick to praise,
    Suspicious of the easy phrase,
    May we go cheerfully on our way
    To preach Your Holy Word and pray.

Part ii.

  1. We are the Church of God,
    The gathered and dispersed,
    From those in prison for our faith
    To those killed for it first:
    Our martyrs and our saints,
    Our teachers and our priests,
    Engage The Spirit to preside
    At famines and at feasts.
  2. Not chauvinists of God,
    Nor blinkered in his name,
    We honour those throughout the world
    Whose lives have brought Him fame:
    Our Church today is built
    Not in a time nor place,
    Not on a narrow ritual
    But countless acts of Grace.
  3. Power is the only goal
    Of uniformity
    But God has given us with means
    Of faith in liberty:
    Our witness in the world
    Not internecine strife
    Will better represent God's presence
    In our Christian life.

Part iii.

  1. The worship that Our Lord began
    Has nourished an almighty span,
    The truth that we in prayer proclaim
    Looks different but is still the same.
  2. The desert nomad and the squire
    Each in their piety aspire,
    The peasant and the factory hand
    Have listened to the same command.
  3. The special pleadings of the sect
    And pieties they disrespect
    Are nothing set against The Creed
    And the foundation of The Word.

Part iv.

  1. When all the towers of Rome are lost
    And all the Church's pomp is cast,
    When ancient rites are but a dream,
    Our Saviour will yet reign supreme.
  2. Tied to the rubric and the form
    We cannot face the evil storm,
    The Word in humble patience sought
    Will be our first and last resort.
  3. Being human, what we hold most dear
    Is habit felt in atmosphere
    But our approach to Jesu's Word
    Rests not on where but what is heard.
  4. And yet He made the Church on earth
    As the curator of re-birth
    But it must grow and change to feed
    The changing nature of our need.
  5. God does not change but what He made
    Evolves in our collective head:
    He makes the context and the frame,
    His Church must learn and do the same.