liturgical text

A Creed for Australia / Bruce Prewer


A creed for Australia
We believe that this ancient land
with its unique creatures
is a precious gift from a loving God
whose mercy is over all creation.

We believe in God’s care for the people who treasured it
through un-numbered generations;
the One who grieves in their suffering
and rejoices in every noble aspiration.

We believe in God’s compassion
for the patchwork of refugees
who for two hundred years have come to this continent
looking for a place to call their home.

We believe in God’s steadfast love
for this nation and all its children;
that he is creating a new people from many races,
colours and gifts, to fulfil a high destiny.

We believe that the best way forward
is the way revealed by Christ of faith, hope and love,
where no needy person is neglected
and no bidding of the Spirit ignored.

(Source: Bruce D. Prewer) /

Photos: D. Burns/S. Burns. Hampton, Black Rock, Kincumber, Vic.

Photos: D. Burns/S. Burns. Hampton, Black Rock, Kincumber, Vic.

The Lights of Evening Round Us Shine...

Song of the Light Phos hilaron

O joyful light,
from the pure glory of the eternal heavenly Father,
O holy, blessed Jesus Christ.

As we come to the setting of the sun
and see the evening light,
we give thanks and praise to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit of God.

Worthy are you at all times
to be sung with holy voices,
O Son of God, O giver of life,
and to be glorified through all creation.


Hail, gladdening Light, of his pure glory poured,
Who is the immortal Father, heavenly, blest,
Holiest of holies, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now we are come to the sun’s hour of rest,
The lights of evening round us shine,
We hymn the Father, Son and Holy Spirit divine.

Worthy are you at all times to be sung
With undefiled tongue,
Son of our God, giver of life, alone:
Therefore in all the world your glories, Lord, they own.

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000).

O Gracious Light    Phos hilaron

O gracious light, 
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven, 
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun, 
and our eyes behold the vesper light, 
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life, 
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Book of Common Prayer (The Episcopal Church, 1979).

Below: Melbourne cityscape and Half Moon Bay, walking the dog at Hampton beach. (Photos: Judith Atkinson & Stephen Burns.)

Heart of the Universe


Blessed is She, Song of the Universe,
Who sang our world into being,
weaving mystical melodies
out of themes composed of dust.

She gathers us into Her cosmic choir
to teach us Her song of love.

Blessed is She, Dance of the Universe,
Whose grace-full movement
breaks open our lives
to the twists and turns of Her Spirit.

She gathers us into Her circle of friends
to teach us Her dance of trust,

Blessed is She, Hope of the Universe,
spilling new possibilities
on the dead dreams of the despairing.

She gathers is into Her new creation
to help us begin again.

Blessed is She, Heart of the Universe,
beating with passion,
warm with compassion,
holding us all,
enfolding us all
in Her gentle, mystical Presence.

She gathers us into Her energy
to show us the strength of Her love.

Blessed is She, Soul of the Universe,
feeling the pain of those who grieve
and the joy of those rejoicing.

She gathers us into Her Spirit-space
to teach us to be like Her.

Blessed is She, Shalom of the Universe,
Holy and wholly present
to the whole of Her cherished creation.

She draws us into Her sacred Shalom
until we are one with Her.

"Berekah: A Psalm," Miriam Therese Winter, WomanWisdom: A Feminist Lectionary and Psalter / Women of the Hebrew Scriptures: Part One (New York: Crossroad, 1991), p. 56.

Image: a close up of a painting on my dining room wall, by Jason Garwood, some of whose other work can be found here: