I remember ‘encouraging’ one of our organists in the choosing of processional hymns. To be honest, I would do without them – processional hymns, that is. Far better to let everybody shuffle in more or less elegantly and then start worship purposefully and together.

But if you must …. It should be short lines, single-syllable words and a brisk tune. And if the brisk tune could be sung more briskly than everybody first thought of as brisk, that would be good too. For some reason, I remember pleading for ‘o praise our God today/His constant mercy bless’

Which brings us to George Herbert whom we commemorated yesterday.

Part of the interest in George Herbert is in the extent to which he and his ministry in Bermerton are responsible for binding us to particular patterns and understandings of pastoral ministry.

But for me it is the poetry and the hymns. I am of course in a small way a wordsmith myself. My introduction to the revised Policy and Action Plan for Casting the Net lacks only a suitable tune. But I would die happy if I could get anywhere near Herbert’s combination of clarity and economy – and his use of single-syllable words

King of Glory, King of Peace
Teach me my God and King
Let all the world in every (corner) sing