Monday, May 23, 2011

Academia, Encapsulated

A baccalaureate Mass I recently attended featured this hymn at the offertory:


For the splendor of creation that draws us to inquire,
for the mysteries of knowledge to which our hearts aspire,
for the deep and subtle beauties which delight the eye and ear,
for the discipline of logic, the struggle to be clear,
for the unexplained remainder, the puzzling and the odd:
for the joy and pain of learning, we give you thanks, O God.


For the scholars past and present whose bounty we digest,
for the teachers who inspire us to summon forth our best,
for our rivals and companions, sometimes foolish, sometimes wise,
for the human web upholding this noble enterprise,
for the common life that binds us through days that soar or plod:
for this place and for these people, we give you thanks, O God.


The tune was Holst's Thaxted (a.k.a. central section from Jupiter in The Planets, a.k.a. "I vow to thee, my country"). It seems to have been written by Rev. Carl P. Daw, Jr. in 1989.

What an apt way to give thanks to God for the grandeur and folly of academia!

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