Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Bless the creators, O God of creation

Yesterday I was privileged to be able to lead a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Giles Waterfield at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Giles Waterfield was: an ever energetic and inspiring character with a towering knowledge that seemed to surpass any disciplinary bounds; a beloved teacher, who took a very personal interest in his students and their lives; a real pioneer in his museum studies; a kind, caring and hilarious friend; a great man of culture bridging the worlds of art history and architectural history; a talented writer and exhibition curator; a person of wit, charm, warmth and kindness.

St Martin's was filled to overflowing with Giles' family, friends, colleagues and students. As one tweet put it, it seemed as though 'every art historian alive was at St-Martin-in-the-fields to pay homage to the extraordinary, inspiring, kind Giles Waterfield.'

As well as a celebration of Giles' exceptional life, the service was, through the prayers, also a celebration of creativity and the contribution of artists more generally. The majority of the prayers used in the service were adapted from the following collection - They included:

Almighty God, you love everything you have made, so we thank you because you made us in your own image and gave us gifts in mind, body and spirit. We thank you now for Giles and what he meant to each of us. As we honour his memory in this service, make us more aware that you are the one from whom comes every perfect gift, including the gift of creativity. As we honour his memory, his creativity and his support of the creativity of others, we remember and give thanks for those who pour their souls into music loud and soft, those who put pigment to surface, carve wood and stone and marble, who work base metals into beauty, those building upwards from the earth toward heaven, those who put thought to paper by computer and by pen; the poets who delve, the playwrights who analyze and proclaim, the dreamers-up of narrative, all those who work with the light and shadows of film, actors moved by Spirit and dancers moving through space. Lord, remember your artists. Have mercy upon them and remember with compassion all those that reflect the good, the ill, the strengths and the weaknesses of the human spirit. Amen.

Teach us, Lord, to use wisely the time which You have given us and to work well without wasting a second. Teach us to profit from our past mistakes without falling into a gnawing doubt. Teach us to anticipate our projects without worry and to imagine the work without despair if it should turn out differently. Teach us to unite haste and slowness, serenity and ardour, zeal and peace. Help us at the beginning of the work when we are weakest. Help us in the middle of the work when our attention must be sustained. In all the work of our hands, bestow Your Grace so that it can speak to others and our mistakes can speak to us alone. Keep us in the hope of perfection, without which we would lose heart, yet keep us from achieving perfection, for surely we would be lost in arrogance. Let me never forget that all knowledge is in vain unless there is work. And all work is empty unless there is love. And all love is hollow unless it binds us both to others and to You. Amen.

Bless the creators, O God of creation, who by their gifts make the world a more joyful and beautiful realm. Through their labours they teach us to see more clearly the truth around us. In their inspiration they call forth wonder and awe in our own living. In their hope and vision they remind us that life is holy. Bless all who create in your image, O God of creation. Pour your Spirit upon them that their hearts may sing and their works be fulfilling. Amen.


Gabriel Faure - In Paradisum.

No comments: