Monday 25 June 2012

Root and Branch Recreation

Cover picture

I was in church yesterday, and towards the end of the service the chap in black with the funny neck-piece said the following:

O God, the strength of them that labour and the rest of the weary: grant us when we are tired with our work to be recreated by thy Spirit; that being renewed for the service of thy kingdom, we may serve thee gladly in freshness of body and mind...

Now, I do very little labour, but I do count myself as one of the weary. However, it was the words rather than the sentiment that grabbed my attention. Recreated was pronounced exactly as you might expect: ree-create. But it suddenly occurred to me to wonder what that has to do with recreation with a short re.

Create come straight from the Latin verb creare, the supine stem of which was creatum, hence the T. Creare meant to make, but if something was made new or refreshed it was re-creatum. Thus recreation is, indeed, a second creation. And you can be recreated by God or a doctor or a good drink.

Also, the first lesson was from Malachi, Chapter IV, where it says:

For, behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 

Which is where the phrase root and branch comes from - as in the root and branch reform that politicians so often promise, and that I so badly need.

Heavy pruning


  1. "To walk abroad and re-create yourselves" Shakespeare, Julius Caesar ( from memory)

  2. The collects are wonderful both as prayers and as lovely English.

  3. Please tell us how you managed to change 'Lord of hosts' into 'Lord or host'. It gives a rather different slant to the text.

  4. So God would write on his first week on the job... Mon- Sat Recreation time, Sun recreation time. Yes?