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Silence! Frenzied unclean spirit

Silence! Frenzied, unclean spirit. Thomas Troeger* (1945- ). From Troeger’s New Hymns for the Lectionary: to Glorify the Maker’s Name (New York and Oxford, 1986), reprinted in Borrowed Light (1994). It is based on the account of the man with the unclean spirit in the synagogue (Mark 1: 21-28). The first verse is highly dramatic, followed by a salutary reflection: Lord, the demons still are thriving In the grey cells of the mind… Here the phrase ‘grey cells’, from Agatha Christie’s Monsieur Poirot, acquires a new and powerful, almost sinister meaning. The preface to New Hymns for the Lectionary comments that the hymn first retells the story of Jesus exorcising a demon, then probes the...

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