Peter II

You said that you would serve me,
the cleansing water poured
though I could not deserve it—
but wash me now, O Lord.

While you awaited Judas,
I laid me down and slept,
but I have heard the rooster,
and bitterly I wept.

For I have failed my tempting;
my own heart I denied,
and now my nets are empty,
though I have fished all night.

You call out from the shoreline
beyond the night of grief.
I plunge into the ocean
let it wash me clean.

You ask me if I love you;
you ask it yet again.
Three times your ask it of me,
as you foretold my sin.

And three times I have answered,
and will a thousand more
through all the years advancing:
You know I love you, Lord.
RaphaelChrist’s Charge to Peter, 1515. – Victoria and Albert Museum, Public Domain,

Peter I

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,

“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

He then said to Simon Peter a second time,

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

Jesus said to him the third time,

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time,

“Do you love me?” and he said to him,

“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,

you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;

but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,

and someone else will dress you

and lead you where you do not want to go.”

He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.

And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

John 21:15-19

To the tune NON DIGNUS:

O Lord, you know I love you,
though human hearts are frail.
You know how I turned from you,
when all my courage failed.

You now how I denied you;
you saw when I turned back,
but now I sit beside you—
and will you take me back?

Oh, how can you believe me?
What promise could I keep?
But somehow you receive me,
and tell me feed your sheep.

So I will be a shepherd
and all the world my field,
as I have been a fisher
for all the seas would yield.

Forever I shall follow
where you have gone before.
I am reborn from sorrow,
because you love me, Lord.
William de BrailesChrist Appears at Lake Tiberias, c. 1250. – Walters Art Museum: Home page  Info about artwork, Public Domain,

Christ Within the Temple

Largely drawn from today’s readings, which juxtapose Isaiah’s purification with the miraculous catch of fish:

Christ within the temple,
touch my halting tongue
with your burning ember:
Purify my song.
Send me then to sing it
where sad silence reigns,
your compassion bringing
while I sing your name.

Christ upon the waters,
bless my empty nets
for the work your Father
now before me sets.
When I go to cast them,
I may work all night;
you alone can fill them
with your mercy bright.

Christ before the table
where the sinners dine,
give the bread you're breaking
to a heart like mine.
With the strength you've given
in the living bread,
I will go to serve them,
all who must be fed.

Christ out in the desert,
from the crowd withdrawn,
let your silence bless me
when I seek my own.
May your spirit soothe me
when I take my rest,
heart and mind renewing
with your holy peace.
Painting by H. Picou, 1850s (first miracle) By Henri-Pierre Picou –, Photographer: © Cécile Clos, Public Domain,

O Christ, You Send Your Servants Out

This would work for Ascension, or for the Gospel we had this Sunday for Trinity:

O Christ, you send your servants out
to baptize all the world,
to speak with holy grace and pow'r
the wonders they have heard.,
but send as well your mercy down
into my inner world
to speak into my pain and doubt
yourself, O living Word.

You send us as a living sign
of mercy and of love,
as branches spreading from the vine
they bear the ripeness of.
As in the wide world, so in mine,
O Lord, pour out your love
that I may see your face divine
and tell the world thereof.

You send your servants out to teach,
to turn the world to you
with works of wonder, pow'rs of speech,
and eyes for all that's true.
O Christ, into my heart your reach
to turn myself to you,
and at your feet I hear your preach
as you make me anew.
Drogo Sacramentary c. 850 By Unknown author – Sacramentaire de Drogon, Metz. BNF lat 9428 page 71v., Public Domain,