Ash Wednesday and Works of Mercy

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the great season of Lent.

It is good at this time to renew our efforts to corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy are:

  1. To instruct the igorant
  2. To counsel the doubtful
  3. To admonish sinners
  4. To bear wrongs patiently
  5. To forgive offenses willingly
  6. To comfort the afflicted
  7. To pray for the living and the dead

The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy are:

  1. To feed the hungry
  2. To give drink to the thirsty
  3. To clothe the naked
  4. To shelter the homeless
  5. To visit the sick
  6. To visit the imprisoned
  7. To bury the dead

Note that this is a modern listing of the corporal works of mercy. The work “to shelter the homeless” has replaced the traditional work “to harbor the harborless,” and the work “to visit the imprisoned” has replaced “to ransom the captive.”

Traditionally, the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy are:

  1. To feed the hungry
  2. To give drink to the thirsty
  3. To clothe the naked
  4. To harbor the harborless
  5. To visit the sick
  6. To ransom the captive
  7. To bury the dead

While there is nothing objectionable to the modern listing, it seems that something is lost in the substitution. Harboring the harborless goes beyond sheltering the homeless to include the welcome of strangers and providing a refuge for refugees. And the work of ransoming captives includes freeing slaves and prisoners of war as well as forgiving debt, which is a kind of bondage. Of course, the holder of the debt is not the only one who can ransom the captive. Paying off someone else’s debt, or helping them pay it off, is another way in which they can be freed from debt, and is also a work of mercy. Both the forgiveness of debt and the payment of the debts of others are corporal works of mercy and to be encouraged in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

“O Little Town of Bethlehem” Video

Merry Christmas from the Smooth Stone Foundation!

Here is the YouTube video for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” arranged and conducted by Timothy McDonnell!

This was recorded in the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA, where the song was written in 1868.

Christmas CDs with this song are now available.

Email Joseph Burke at jburke1220@yahoo.com with your contact information if you would like one. The suggested donation is $20.

Projects “Adventus” Video

Here is the video for “Adventus” by Timothy McDonnell on YouTube!

Christmas CDs with this song are now available.

Email the Executive Director Joseph Burke at jburke1220@yahoo.com with your contact information if you would like one. The suggested donation is $20.

You may follow the link off of the YouTube video to get the sheet music for your choir!

New Choir Music Now Available!

Please let us know if you would like a CD. You may contact the Executive Director, Joseph Burke, at jburke1220@yahoo.com. The suggested donation for a CD is $20.