Litany, Rossetti and Cardiphonia-style

In preparing to lead the service at my church this Sunday – looking at Revelation 10-11:14 – I’ve found myself reading some of Christina Rossetti’s devotional commentary on Revelation, Face of the Deep. If you’re looking for a systematic unpacking of a complex book, probably don’t go to Rossetti, but if you want to read some beautiful prayers, poems and reflections by a deep woman of faith, then it’s well worth a read. Here, as a taster, is a fusion of some of her best prayers, modernised slightly to be more easily read today.

I’ve also just discovered this gem of an album from the great folks at Cardiphonia, a collection of songs based around Charles Wesley’s hymns for the Great Litany. It’s not quite the obvious fit for reading Rossetti, but I’m finding it a comforting and inspiring listen.

 

Litany from Revelation 10-11

Adapted from Christina Rossetti, Face of the Deep: A Devotional Commentary on the Apocalypse

You who were poor until your baptism was accomplished:

Pity us, accomplish your will in us.

You who finished the work your father gave you to do:

Pity us, finish your work by us and in us.

You who said, “It is finished,” in the ending of your agony:

Pity us, bring us to a good end.

Yes, Lord most pitiful, pity us. Amen.

O merciful Lord Jesus, grant that now your rebuke might enlighten and enkindle us, so it will not consume us.

You who once made yourself as a man in whose mouth was no reproof, rebuke us, but with justice, not in your anger, or you would bring us to nothing.

You who became a reproof among your enemies and neighbours, save us from the reproof of the one that could consume us.

You who know our reproof, our shame and our dishonour, deliver us from our enemies, who are all in your sight.

O Christ, the saint of saints, who called us to be saints: in the day of destruction, save us. Christ our refuge, do not exclude us. Our redeemer, do not despise us. Our safety, do not deny us. Our Saviour, do not destroy us. Our brother, do not reject us. Our friend, do not forsake us. Our all in all, do not fail us. Amen.

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