God willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be received into the Catholic Church four weeks from today. However, it just so happens that the baptism falls on the same weekend as The Game. That means I’ll be taking a night train from Boston to DC with a group of my college friends to make it back in time.
Since we’ll be traveling together, I thought it might be nice to say Evening Office when we board in Boston and Morning Office when we arrive in DC. (Those are parts of the Liturgy of the Hours). And I thought it would be fun to put together a bunch of different prayers and hymns for people to look at, together or on their own, until they fall asleep.
I’ll be including some of my favorites. Definitely on the list is St. Patrick’s Breastplate and my current favorite hymn “God Whose Purpose is to Kindle.” It goes like this:
God, who still a sword delivers rather than a placid peace,
with your sharpened sword disturb us, from complacency release!
Save us now from satisfaction, when we privately are free,
yet are undisturbed in spirit by our neighbor’s misery.
But I realize people might like to have some slightly less aggressive hymns to look at, so please do recommend some of your favorite prayers, hymns, or brief essays for us to print out and take along with us. Tell us a little about what you’re recommending and we’ll all pick up some new ideas.
And, in case you have smartphones, one of the reasons I thought of doing this is that I’ve used Google Docs to put together a lot of the lyrics of hymns I really like, so I’ve always got them ready at hand (if I have wifi). Even if I’m in a place I can’t sing really loudly (my preferred style; see why I like the martial hymns?), I can read over the lyrics and hear the song in my head. And songs are prayers that come pre-inflected, so I don’t worry too much about how I’m saying the prayer.
Unless I start the song right over my break by mistake.