Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of you, let my first impulse be to worship you, let my first speech be your name, let my first action be to kneel before you in prayer.
For your perfect wisdom and perfect goodness:
Yet let me not, when this prayer is said, think my worship ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of you. Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth, and joy, and power, that will remain with me through all the hours of the day;
O God, who has been the refuge of my forbears through many generations, be my refuge today in every time and circumstance of need. Be my guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my guard against all that threatens my spirit's welfare. Be my strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with your peace; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
—John Baillie. A Diary of Private Prayer (Oxford, 1936)
St Giles' Cathedral is the historic city church of Edinburgh and stands on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the mother church of the Church of Scotland.
"Jamie Penman" sung by Robin Laing from the Lanarkshire Songwriters/New Makars Trust, from the album The Grassmarket Butchers: Tales of the Covenanters..
The Covenanters were Scots who signed the National Covenant in 1638, in opposition to interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the Presbyterian church. The Stuart believed in a God-given right of the monarch to spiritual head of the church. Some Scots said that no man, only Christ, could be spiritual head of a church.
The song tells of Covenanters taken prisoner after the Battle of Bothwell Bridge on 22 June 1679, after a short-lived rebellion. The prisoners were sent on the ship Crown of London to be plantation slaves in Jamaica. The ship foundered in a storm off the coast of Orkney; two hundred covenanter drowned in the locked hold. Only when William of Orange became King in 1688 did the kirk regain its religious freedom. Yes, it's a Lenten story.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.