Tag: malcolm guite

MOTHERING SUNDAY: poem and resources

I love this poem by Malcolm Guite, which especially celebrates single mums and the amazing job so many of them do.  As always, you can hear Malcolm reading his poem if you click on the title.  I’ve also added some links to resources.

Image result for mothering sunday

Mothering Sunday 

At last, in spite of all, a recognition,

For those who loved and laboured for so long,

Who brought us, through that labour, to fruition

To flourish in the place where we belong.

A thanks to those who stayed and did the raising,

Who buckled down and did the work of two,

Whom governments have mocked instead of praising,

Who hid their heart-break and still struggled through,

The single mothers forced onto the edge

Whose work the world has overlooked, neglected,

Invisible to wealth and privilege,

But in whose lives the kingdom is reflected.

Now into Christ our mother church we bring them,

Who shares with them the birth-pangs of His Kingdom.

(Malcolm Guite)


Mother’s Union resources:  http://www.mothersunion.org/MotheringSunday

CofE Going for Growth:  http://www.going4growth.com/growth_through_the_year/mothering_sunday

The Children’s Society:  https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-you-can-do/your-church/pray-worship-reflect/worship/mothering-sunday

Barnabas in Churches:  http://www.barnabasinchurches.org.uk/find/all/ideas/1/mothering+sunday/

All Age Worship Resources:  http://www.allageworshipresources.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/SAAW002-Mothering-Sunday-Honour-your-parents.pdf

And a Godly Play twist on the parable of the prodigal son:  The Prodigal Daughter, with thanks to John Griffiths:

The Prodigal Daughter



GEORGE HERBERT, priest and poet

Nothing really to do with deacons.  Just because he’s one of my favourites.  You can listen to the poem too if you click on the heading.


George Herbert

Gentle exemplar, help us in our trials,

With all that passed between you and your Lord,

That intimate exchange of frowns and smiles

Which chronicled your love-match with the Word.

Your manuscript, entrusted to a friend,

Has been entrusted now to every soul,

We make a new beginning in your end

And find your broken heart has made us whole.

Time has transplanted you, and you take root,

Past changing in the paradise of Love,

Help me to trace your temple, tune your lute,

And listen for an echo from above,

Open the window, let me hear you sing,

And see the Word with you in everything.

Malcolm Guite


Malcolm Guite‘s poem connects up the ash that many Christians will receive today with the destruction of God’s earth, and calls for repentance.  You can also listen to the poem by clicking on the title.

Ash Wednesday

Receive this cross of ash upon your brow,
Brought from the burning of Palm Sunday’s cross.
The forests of the world are burning now
And you make late repentance for the loss.
But all the trees of God would clap their hands
The very stones themselves would shout and sing
If you could covenant to love these lands
And recognise in Christ their Lord and king.

He sees the slow destruction of those trees,
He weeps to see the ancient places burn,
And still you make what purchases you please,
And still to dust and ashes you return.
But Hope could rise from ashes even now
Beginning with this sign upon your brow.

Related image


A poem for All Saints (click on the title if you would prefer to listen to the poet, Malcolm Guite, reading it)

and an icon of the Coptic martyrs murdered by Isis, for All Souls.

All Saints

Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards

Each shard still shines with Christ’s reflected light,

It glances from the eyes, kindles the words

Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright

With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,

The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.

Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing

He weaves them with us in the web of being

They stand beside us even as we grieve,

The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,

Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above

The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,

To triumph where all saints are known and named;

The gathered glories of His wounded love.

Malcolm Guite

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(This beautiful sonnet can also be heard:  click on the title).

Love’s Choice

This bread is light, dissolving, almost air,

A little visitation on my tongue,

A wafer-thin sensation, hardly there.

This taste of wine is brief in flavour, flung

A moment to the palate’s roof and fled,

Even its aftertaste a memory.

Yet this is how He comes. Through wine and bread

Love chooses to be emptied into me.

He does not come in unimagined light

Too bright to be denied, too absolute

For consciousness, too strong for sight,

Leaving the seer blind, the poet mute;

Chooses instead to seep into each sense,

To dye himself into experience.

Malcolm Guite (from Sounding the Seasons, Canterbury Press)

(image by Margot Krebs Neale)


Palm Sunday

Image result for african palm sunday

Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,

The seething holy city of my heart,

The saviour comes. But will I welcome him?

Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;

They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,

And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find

The challenge, the reversal he is bringing

Changes their tune. I know what lies behind

The surface flourish that so quickly fades;

Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,

The hardness of the heart, its barricades,

And at the core, the dreadful emptiness

Of a perverted temple. Jesus come

Break my resistance and make me your home.

Malcolm Guite

from his collection Sounding the Seasons, pub Canterbury Press