As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Hymn of Thanksgiving

I have a Coptic friend whose parish (they're all English) are struggling with Coptic hymnody. This is an attempt to render the Prayer of Thanksgiving (said during the Hours, which he is trying to do daily) more accessible. I envision it sung to the same tune as Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise. The original prayer and my version are below. I split it into six sections of four lines and attempted to convert each section into a verse. It was all done in about fifteen minutes, so forgive it if it's terrible.

We thank thee, benificent, merciful God
Thou, father of Jesus, our Savior and Lord
For shielding us, saving us, kept in his power
As loved and supported we're brought to this hour.

Keep us in Your Peace, Lord, on this holy day
And all of the rest of our life in your way
In every condition we offer our praise,
In any condition for all of our days.

Our armour, deliverer, Lover of men
Our keeper, supporter, forgiver of sin
The hours of this day and the days of this year
We ask to complete in all peace with Thy fear.

All envy, tempation, all Satanic sway
The intrigue of enemies, all wicked ways
Remove from your people by Your tender Grace
And from this, Your dwelling, your high, holy place.

For that which is praisworthy, all things of worth
Provide them, we ask of You, Lord of the Earth.
On serpents and sin by Your Will we have trod
So lead us on right paths, delivering God.

Through grace and compassion and love of all men
Thy only Begotten killed death and crushed sin
Thou with Him are due honor, glory and praise
One God with the Spirit 'till the end of days.


Let us give thanks unto the Beneficent and Merciful God,
the Father of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
For He has shielded us, rescued us, kept us, accepted us unto Him,
had compassion on us, supported us, and brought us unto this hour.

Let us ask Him also, to keep us this holy day
and all the days of our life in all peace, the Almighty Lord our God.
O Master, Lord, God Almighty, Father of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ;
we thank Thee upon every condition, for any condition, and in whatever condition.

For Thou hast shielded us, rescued us, kept us, accepted us unto Thee,
had compassion on us, supported us and brought us unto this hour.
Therefore we ask and entreat Thy goodness, O Lover-of-man,
grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of our life in all peace with Thy fear.

All envy, all temptation, all the influence of Satan,
the intrigue of wicked people, the rising up of enemies, hidden and manifest,
take away from us, and from all Thy people,
and from this, Thy holy place.

But as for those things which are good and useful provide us with them.
For Thou art the One who gave us the authority to
trample on serpents and scorpions and every power of the enemy.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,

through the grace, compassion and love of man,
of Thine only begotten Son, our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Through whom glory, honor, dominion, and worship
befit Thee with Him and the Holy Spirit, the lifegiver who is of one essence with Thee,
both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Blogger Hajiburton said...

Esteemed Frater,

Just a few points. Firstly, let me commend you on preserving most of the ancient ideas intact, and cleaning it up quite neatly. The tune to "Immortal, Invisible" is not one of my favorites, but it is familiar and serviceable. Some improvement is possible, however.

You could preserve the original pun on the word "condition" in the second stanza by changing one of the lines (I prefer the first) to read "in any condition" instead of having both read the same way.

You mispelled Satanic.
(The last line of this stanza is particularly good, however- it really rolls off the tongue).

The third line of the 5th stanza contains an error. "you have made us to trod" seems to confuse the simple past tense with the infinitive form of the verb "tread." "You have made us to tread" is grammatically correct, but, of course, destroys the rhyme. In order to use "trod" without awkwardness, you probably need to put "have" right next to it, as in "we have trod." The rest I will leave to you.

I'm sure you will choose to do nothing about it, but I have to mention that the second line of the 6th stanza is an innovation, and not part of the original text.


Sir R.F. Burton

2:43 PM  
Blogger The Poor Blogger said...

All fixed except for that one verse. I needed something, and that's my favorite part about Orthodoxy.

Are the changes acceptable?

2:49 PM  

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