Friday 23 November 2012

Amazing Grace

Platform 3 begins:

What's still left to do.

Laid some of the purple edging tiles.
Amazing Grace:

I have a love/hate relationship with this hymn. On the one hand, I find it schmaltzy and populist and am heartily sick of it having heard it so many times.

On the other hand, you sometimes hear an attractive  new rendition eg once I heard some kind of unaccompanied Scottish Island choir wailing it and found that most engaging.

Yesterday, at morning Mass, Amazing Grace was the hymn of the day, so to speak. Inwardly, I groaned, but was then struck by one of the lines in the hymn book.

Amazing Grace
John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.


 How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

That's the line that caught my attention. For, I have always believed. I can remember no time when I had even the slightest doubt about my belief in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Does that mean, therefore, that I have always been aware of that Grace?

The answer is that I am not sure what is meant by Grace. I find that my belief is precious in itself. I don't seem to need an extra ingredient called Grace.

Will have to dwell on this distinction between Belief and Grace.

A good starting point might be to look a little more closely at the words which hitherto I've not paid any attention to!!!!

Last night's dinner:

Spouse's: lemon sole and potatoes

Spouse's spouse's: plaice, black pudding and cous cous.

Cesar Franck's Piano Quintet:

As I emerged from the Clyde Tunnel today, Radio 3 reception kicked in and I found myself joining the broadcast of a fantastic piano and string ensemble piece. But what was it? I'd heard it before: was it Brahms? No, too jerky. Was it Mendelssohn? No, too 20th Century? Was it Shostakovich? No, none of his signature melodies and other devices were in evidence. Was it Prokofiev? I was pretty sure it was but then it became too lyrically melodic.

I was in agony. Would the piece finish before I arrived at the office and allow me to hear the announcement of it's composer? It finished as I was parking the car at my destination.

Cesar Franck's Piano Quintet.

The version I have.

Must play it more often; a really excellent piece, full of inventiveness and melody.

No comments:

Post a Comment