I chose this poem by George Herbert for Station X in my Stations of the Cross, “Jesus is Stripped”. To have our clothing removed, particularly forcibly, is so vulnerable; but in asking Jesus to fill the emptiness of his heart and drive out sin, Herbert mirrors that vulnerability. Or so it seems to me, anyway…
Since blood is fittest, Lord, to write
Thy sorrows in, and bloody fight;
My heart hath store; write there, where in
One box doth lie both ink and sin:
That when sin spies so many foes,
Thy whips, thy nails, thy wounds, thy woes,
All come to lodge there, sin may say,
No room for me, and fly away.
Sin being gone, oh fill the place,
And keep possession with thy grace;
Lest sin take courage and return,
And all the writings blot or burn.
As usual, this is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. That last bit means that you can print and photocopy and perform and record to your heart’s content: but you must also allow others to copy any derivative works under the same license. So none of this business of making a recording and then telling me it’s “not for public download,” as a number of choirs have now done: if you don’t want to abide by the terms of the license, then you’ll need to either pay me, or not sing my stuff. That’s the deal. That’s how it works.
Meanwhile, though: I do intend to keep putting my music online under CC by-SA. The occasional choir that doesn’t understand how the license works is a small annoyance compared to my feeling that music, and especially choral music, should be as freely available as possible. So if you’re one of my lovely supporters, thanks so much for making that possible! And if you’re not, and you’d like to help me keep composing and keep making my music available online, do have a look at the various options to support me.