Morning Prayer Lent Wednesday, 27 February 2013 George Herbert, Priest, Poet, 1633 [Lesser Festival]

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Chapel of St Mary the Less, St John's College DurhamI led morning prayer for the first time this morning at St John’s College Chapel of St Mary the Less.
Today the church remembers the priest and poet George Herbert who died on this day in 1633. He wrote many hymns, some of which we still sing today such as Let all the world in every corner sing. So in tribute today I began and ended this morning’s prayer with two verses from his poem Mattens:

I Cannot ope mine eyes,
But thou art ready there to catch
My morning-soul and sacrifice:
Then we must needs for that day make a match.

My God, what is a heart?
Silver, or gold, or precious stone,
Or starre, or rainbow, or a part
Of all these things, or all of them in one?

My God, what is a heart?
That thou shouldst it so eye, and wooe,
Powring upon it all thy art,
As if that thou hadst nothing els to do?

Indeed mans whole estate
Amounts (and richly) to serve thee:
He did not heav’n and earth create,
Yet studies them, not him by whom they be.

Teach me thy love to know;
That this new light, which now I see,
May both the work and workman show:
Then by a sunne-beam I will climbe to thee.

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