Fr Frederick Faber, Cong. Orat., 1814-1863
Bishop Synesius, 375-430, translated by A.W. Chatfield, 1808-1896
The English Hymnal no.77
Ex more docti mystico
c. 6th century, translated by John Mason Neale, 1818-1866
The English Hymnal no.65
St Andrew of Crete, 660-732, translated by J. M. Neale, 1818-1866
The English Hymnal no.72
Next Sunday is Septuagesima, the beginning of that period of Pre-Lent, consisting of three Sundays that precede and prepare the Church (according to the Ordinariate and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite) for the great penitential season of Lent. The liturgical character of this period anticipates Lent by omitting the Alleluia and the Gloria from Mass, and the Te Deum from the Divine Office, and by clothing the church and her ministers in violet.
The ancient hymn below, translated by the eminent Anglican hymnographer, John Mason Neale, may be sung on this Sunday before Septuagesima, so as to emphasise the bittersweet loss of the Alleluia from the Sacred Liturgy; a word dear to the hearts of Christians, that will not now be heard again until the Easter Vigil. Here follows Neale’s own explanation:
‘The Latin Church, as it is well known, forbade, as a general role, the use of Alleluia in Septuagesima. Hence, in more than one ritual, its frequent repetition on the Saturday before Septuagesima, as if by way of farewell to its employment. This custom was enjoined in the German Dioceses by the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 817: but various reasons render it probable that the following hymn is not of earlier date than the thirteenth century. The farewell to Alleluia in the Mozarabic rite is so lovely that I give it here. After the Alleluia Perenne, the Capitula are as follows:— “Alleluia in heaven and in earth; it is perpetuated in heaven, it is sung in earth. There it resounds everlastingly: here sweetly. There happily; here concordantly. There ineffably; here earnestly. There without syllables; here in musical numbers. There from the Angels; here from the people. Which, at the birth of Christ the Lord, not only in heaven, but the earth, did the Angels sing; while they proclaimed, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will”. The Benediction:— “Let that Alleluia which is ineffably sung in heaven, be more efficaciously declared in your praises. Amen. unceasingly sung by Angels, let it here be uttered brokenly by all faithful people. Amen. That it, as it is called the praise of God, and as it imitates you in that praise, may cause you to be enrolled as denizens of the eternal mansion. Amen”. The Lauda:— “Thou shalt go, O Alleluia; Thou shalt have a prosperous journey, O Alleluia. R. And again with joy thou shalt return to us, O Alleluia. V. For in their hands they shall bear thee up; lest thou hurt thy foot against a stone. R. And again with joy thou shalt return to us, O Alleluia”’.
Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences, 1867, edited by John Mason Neale, 1818-1866
to the tune Tantum Ergo, The English Hymnal, no. 63
On this final ferial day of this month dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus, a hymn by Edward Perronet. The son of a Kent vicar, Perronet grew to know and work alongside the Wesleys well, but later fell out with them, and with both the Church of England and the Methodist movement, and ended up pastoring dissenting congregations. In his will Perronet left money to William Shrubsole (1760-1806), the composer of the tune Miles Lane, written to accompany this hymn.
On this memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, one of my favourite hymns, so loved by my wife and I that we chose it for our wedding day (16 years ago tomorrow). The hymn was written in 1870 by Caroline Noel, the daughter of an Anglican priest. My preferred tune is that of Evelyns, composed by William Henry Monk (1823-1893).
1. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess him King of glory now;
’Tis the Father’s pleasure we should call him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty Word.
2. At his voice creation sprang at once to sight:
All the Angel faces, all the hosts of light,
Thrones and dominations, stars upon their way,
All the heavenly orders in their great array.
3. Humbled for a season, to receive a name
From the lips of sinners, unto whom he came;
Faithfully he bore it ,spotless to the last,
Brought it back victorious when from death he passed:
4. Bore it up triumphant, with its human light,
Through all ranks of creatures, to the central height,
To the throne of Godhead, to the Father’s breast,
Filled it with the glory of that perfect rest.
5. Name him, brothers, name him, with love as strong as death,
But with awe and wonder, and with bated breath;
He is God the Saviour, he is Christ the Lord,
Ever to be worshipped, trusted, and adored.
6. In your hearts enthrone him; there let him subdue
All that is not holy, all that is not true:
Crown him as your captain, in temptations’ hour;
Let his will enfold you in its light and power.
7. Brothers, this Lord Jesus shall return again,
With his Father’s glory, with his Angel train;
For all wreaths of empire meet upon his brow,
And our hearts confess him King of glory now.
Caroline Noel, 1817-1877
no.368 The English Hymnal (to the tune Evelyns)
Canon T.A. Lacey, 1853-1931
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we may in all things be comforted by the intercession of holy Mary, Mother of God, of all the Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors and Virgins, and all the Saints of England: and that like as we do call to mind their godliness of life; so we may be effectually defended by their help; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Continuing the theme of yesterday’s feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, today I’m sharing the original version of the Walsingham Pilgrim Hymn, written by Sir William Milner (1893-1960) and sung to the tune Lourdes, with its familiar refrain of the Aves. The hymn was revised by Father Hope Patten’s successor as Administrator of the Anglican shrine, Father Colin Stephenson, in 1960 (after Sir William’s death that year, and two years after Hope Patten’s death - canny timing, that). The version below is taken from the third edition of the The Pilgrims’ Manual, dated 1949 (the first edition was published in 1928, but the hymn predates this, as Father Cobb, in his history of the shrine, indicates that the first issue of Our Lady’s Mirror in 1926 mentions the hymn). In my 1949 manual the hymn is prefaced with these brief words of explanation: ‘This processional is based on the mediaeval legend, long loved by our Catholic forefathers’.
Comparing the two versions is an interesting exercise in literary taste, history, memory, and mixed emotion. The older form of the hymn is longer by five verses and, for those who enjoy the stuff of legend, it happily fleshes it out somewhat, particularly on the detail of Richeldis’ vision of the Virgin and the miraculous circumstances of the erection of the Holy House at the hands of Our Lady herself, with Lady Richeldis’ chaplain receiving an honourable mention. Also notable is that whereas the updated version of the hymn references Henry VIII as a ‘king who had greed in his eyes’ (the older version speaks, more poetically, of his ‘covetous eyes’) in relation to the treasures and wealth of the shrine, the older version sounds a more merciful note of regal rehabilitation (‘But his soul did repent, when he came for to die/And to Walsingham’s Lady for mercy did cry’). This is lacking in the present form, which feels, to me at least, notwithstanding the historical accuracy, just a tad heart-rending (especially when the accompanying organ sounds an ominous note during the verse; though I do realise that this is much enjoyed by others of a more mischievous disposition).
Father Stephenson’s version also includes a curious verse which, like the above, as an Anglican I always considered peculiar given the shrine’s place within the life of the established Church of England. Now, as a Catholic of the Ordinariate, it’s certainly much easier, theologically, to sing (‘And this realm which had once been Our Lady’s own Dower/Had its Church now enslaved by the secular power’), but its continued presence within the canon of the Walsingham Pilgrim Hymn of the Anglican shrine is even more baffling in light of the happy existence of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Sir William’s version makes no mention of this emasculation, thus rendering it more coherent for those Anglicans who have not (yet) taken up the generous offer of the Ordinariate which, if nothing else, promises that liberty for the Church from the slavish excesses of the secular power...
Of course the older version had its critics long before Father Stephenson amended it. Michael Yelton, in his excellent history of Father Hope Patten and the Anglican shrine, notes that Sir William’s words ‘have often been criticised for their banality,’ and references Bishop Henley Henson’s (then-Bishop of Durham) attack on it as ‘pitiable rubbish’. But in these days of revived traditional worship in its hieratic register of English (think Divine Worship: The Missal...), I rather like it. It won’t catch on too widely, of course, because the present version, now nearly sixty years old, is much-treasured, not least because there are some memorable and even fun verses to be found therein (‘Then lift high your voices, rehearse the glad tale/Of Our Lady’s appearing in Stiffkey’s fair vale’, and ‘So crowded were roads that the stars, people say/That shine in the heavens were called Walsingham Way,’ for example). Nonetheless, perhaps Sir William’s old hymn can be dusted off and brought out in an Ordinariate context from time to time where the rhyming of ‘meads’ with ‘bedes’ is happily married in verse, and where the use of such old-fashioned phrases as ‘celestial-crowned’, ‘full wondrous’, ‘for to die’, ‘right soon’, ‘forthwith goodly store’, and the like might be regarded as (albeit antiquated) treasures to be shared... Anyway, judge it for yourself.
to the tune St Cross, by J.B. Dykes, 1823-1876
Frederick Faber, Cong. Orat., 1814-1863
Bangor Antiphony, 7th century, translated by Fr Adrian Fortescue, 1874-1923
Festivis resonent compita vocibus
Now let our streets resound with vocal melody,
Now let each countenance shine clear with holy joy;
Raise high the torches bright, lighting our festal way,
As young and old in order go.
Yet while we sing with joy, spare not due meed of tears,
Mindful of him who died, hanged on the bitter tree,
And for the race of men, fallen from first estate,
From many a wound his blood outpoured.
From the first Adam's sin in Eden long ago
Death’s heavy penalty hung over all mankind;
Now by his life and death our second Adam gives
Life to a fallen race once more.
Since through the highest heaven the Father on his throne
Heard the strong cry that broke from his own dying Son,
Our debt is paid in full by the Redeemer’s blood,
Pardon complete for sin is won.
Henceforth who in that blood washeth his soilèd robes,
Cleansèd from every stain, and like the Angel-hosts
Standing before the King in roseate beauty clad,
Finds grace and favour in his sight.
Therefore let Christian men press on to reach the goal,
Scorning to turn aside from the strait path of life;
Bountiful gifts of grace God gives along the way,
And at the end a glorious prize.
Grant of thy grace and power, Father who rulest all,
That we, whom thou hast bought with thy Son’s precious blood,
And by thy Spirit’s breath dost day by day renew,
May to the crown of heaven attain.
Hymn appointed for the Precious Blood, July 1st
The English Catholic Hymn Book no.829
Today, in the Calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, is the feast of the Most Precious Blood. From 1849 to 1969 it was part of the General Roman Calendar, but was removed on account of its commemoration, as a theme, in the Masses of the Passion, Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It remains however, in the Ordinary Form, as a Votive Mass, but it does not feature, under this title, in the Ordinariate’s liturgical usage. Rather, in Divine Worship: The Missal, provision is made for a Votive Mass of the Five Wounds, a medieval devotion, popular in England especially, which was found in the missal of the Sarum Use. The emblem of the Five Wounds was notably employed on the banner rallying the faithful - clergy, religious, and lay - in the famous Pilgrimage of Grace between 1536-1537 which saw unsuccessful uprisings across Northern England in protest at Henry VIII’s break with Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Highly appropriate, then, that such a hallowed devotion, dear to Ecclesia Anglicana, should be revived in a collection intended to preserve, liturgically, the English spiritual tradition within the Catholic Church. The Collect and Postcommunion for the Mass of the Five Wounds in Divine Worship make specific mention of the Precious Blood, and whilst there is no feast of the same, it would be both suitable and felicitous to offer this beautiful Mass in this month of July, which remains dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Christ.
Another Anglican hymn today which makes reference to the Sacred Heart. O dearest Lord, written around 1930 as a poem entitled ‘The Sacred Wounds’ by Father Andrew of the Society of Divine Compassion, makes perhaps the most explicit reference to the Sacred Heart to be found in Anglican hymnals. As far as I have been able to ascertain the hymn, rich in medieval imagery of the Five Wounds of Christ, makes its first appearance in the Canadian Book of Common Praise in 1938, mentioned in yesterday’s post. The hymn can now be found in many contemporary hymnals, Anglican and Nonconformist, a fact that Father Andrew, a convinced Anglo-Catholic, I'm sure would have found remarkable beyond words.
O dearest Lord, Thy sacred Head
With thorns was pierced for me;
O pour Thy blessing on my head
That I may think for Thee.
O dearest Lord, Thy sacred Hands
With nails were pierced for me;
O shed Thy blessing on my hands
That they may work for thee.
O dearest Lord, Thy sacred Feet
With nails were pierced for me;
O pour Thy blessing on my feet
That they may follow Thee.
O dearest Lord, Thy sacred Heart
With spear was pierced for me;
O pour Thy Spirit in my heart
That I may live for Thee.
Father Andrew SDC, 1869-1946
An interesting baptismal hymn today, which I share in this month of the Sacred Heart on account of the author’s unconventional reference, insofar as mainstream Anglican hymnody is concerned, to the Lord's Heart in the second verse.
C.E. Riley, who was born in Liverpool, England, was an Anglican clergyman who went on to become the second Dean of Toronto and Rector of St James’ Cathedral from 1937 to 1961. Overall, the hymn, written in 1938, reflects a mixture of sound theology and straightforward prose, with a gentle Catholic emphasis, generally reflective of Canadian Anglicanism of the era, as can be seen throughout the compilation of hymns that make up the very fine hymnal known as The Book of Common Praise.
To the tune Shipston
Jesu, Son of blessèd Mary,
Once on earth a little child,
Pattern fair of holy living,
Gracious, loving, undefiled.
Though thy sacred heart was yearning
Heavy-laden souls to free,
Yet thou calledst little children
In their happiness to thee.
Thy dear kingdom still they enter
Through this Sacrament of grace;
In thy loving arms enfold them;
Hands of blessing on them place.
From the power of sin delivered
May they learn to live for GOD;
Guided by thy HOLY SPIRIT,
Nourished with the living WORD.
Grant that we, like little children,
Free from pride and guile may be;
Cheerful, trusting, safe, protected
By the Blessèd TRINITY.
Charles Edward Riley, 1883-1971
No. 254 in the Book of Common Praise:
being the Hymn Book of the Church of England in Canada (Revised 1938)
A hymn in honour of the Sacred Heart today, written by Father Francis Stanfield, a priest of the Diocese of Westminster, who was also the author of the very popular Catholic hymn, Sweet Sacrament divine. Father Stanfield, like his father and brother (who was also a priest), had been an Anglican before his reception into the Catholic Church. In the 1880s he became Parish Priest of Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, close to The Strand, in central London; a parish that was elevated to the dignity of a shrine church of the Blessed Sacrament by Cardinal Nichols in June 2018. Mgr Ronald Knox preached there on 26 occasions.
O Sacred Heart,
Our home lies deep in thee;
On earth thou art an exile’s rest,
In heav’n the glory of the blest,
O Sacred Heart.
O Sacred Heart,
Thou fount of contrite tears;
Where’er those living waters flow,
New life to sinners they bestow,
O Sacred Heart.
O Sacred Heart,
Our trust is all in thee,
For though earth’s night be dark and drear,
Thou breathest rest where thou art near,
O Sacred Heart.
O Sacred Heart,
When shades of death shall fall,
Receive us ’neath thy gentle care,
And save us from the tempter’s snare,
O Sacred Heart.
O Sacred Heart,
Lead exiled children home,
Where we may ever rest near thee,
In peace and joy eternally,
O Sacred Heart.
Fr Francis Stanfield, 1835-1914
To the tune Aurelia
The ‘Son of Consolation’,
Saint Barnabas the good,
Filled with the Holy Spirit
And faith in Christ the Lord,
In lowly self-oblation,
To make an offering meet,
Laid down his earthly riches
At the Apostles’ feet.
The Son of Consolation,
In following his Lord
Attained the martyr’s glory,
And entered his reward:
With him is faith now ended,
For ever lost in sight,
Where love made perfect fills him
With praise and joy and light.
All sons of consolation,
How great their joys will be
When Christ the King shall tell them
‘You did it unto me’:
The merciful and loving
The loving Lord shall own,
And set them as his jewels
Around the Father’s throne.
Maud Coote, 1852-1935
translated by Edward Caswall Cong Orat, 1814-1878
Fr Lee Kenyon
A Treasure to be Shared
The Acolyte’s Toolbox