Hymns Modern & Ancient

248: Now the charcoal's glowing

(Tune: "Noel nouvelet" - old French melody,
harmonies by Martin Shaw 1875-1958)

A hymn for the Sacred Order of Thurifers (SOOT)


©Pharisaios Publications 2001 Now the charcoal's glowing,
with the holy fire,
blow upon it softly,
to infuse the pyre.
Bring forth the boat boy,
with the sacred grain,
that our Sunday worship
High-Church may remain.

Walking in procession
we induce a gasp
by our circling motion,
never losing grasp;
then in the Chancel,
place upon the hook,
'til the Gospel reading
when we cense the Book.

As the clouds of incense
rise up to the spire,
so our prayers are lifted
ever higher and higher;
swinging the brazier,
gently to and fro,
all may see the contents
are indeed aglow.

Moving to the altar,
extra grains are poured,
making all the table
holy to the Lord.
Thurible a-smoking.
there we cense the priest,
afterwards the people,
cleansing for the Feast.

This is thus our service
to the Holy rite,
smoke of God's own presence,
turning day to night;
drifting down the nave, 'til
nothing can be seen.
Total fog of mystery,
every action screen.