Hymns Modern & Ancient

421: At the altar (Parts 1 & 2)

(Tune: "Men of Harlech" )


Part 1 ©Pharisaios 2002

Part 2 ©Pharisaios Publications 2002


At the altar, fingers ready,
Hold the host and chalice steady.
Glance around in incense heady,
Raise them both on high.

Are the servers in their places?
Kneeling in their cottas' laces?
Are they blushing on their faces?
Yes they are! You sigh.

Raise the chalice sacred!
With host consecrated!
Bread and wine
At rubric time,
The presence of our Lord is never doubted.
Tell the people not to falter,
But approach the holy altar.
Sign themselves in cruciform
And kneel in honest praise.


So we reach the holy junction,
Which is part of priestly function,
Mouth agape they wait the unction,
From the silver dish.

Take the host that is transcended,
Place it on the tongue extended,
Never show that you're offended
By the smell of fish.

Blatant halitosis,
Needs no diagnosis!
Such a pong,
From all that's wrong,
It's a wonder priests don't die of toxicosis!
All the germs from people's spittle,
Dribble down the chalice just a little.
But that's part of our profession,
As the celebrant.