Friday, 9 March 2007

More About The Confirmation Mass

A comment from Augustinus indicated that he enjoyed hearing all the little details of our Confirmation Mass on Thursday night. I was a little tired, and so I had only given some edited highlights... ...and so now I shall fill in a few more details!

In addition to the three hymns already mentioned, we also sang "Come Holy Ghost, Creator come" and the choir sang it again in Latin (Veni, Creator Spiritus) during the actual Confirmations. We sang "Holy Spirit, Lord of light" and "O bread of heaven" and there were a couple more chants and motets sung by the choir.

Until the Mass, I didn't know how many verses there were to "O purest of creatures." As Augustinus said, most hymn books only have a few... I'm not sure how Fr. Tim managed to get the others... but next year we might end up singing a few more!! In the meantime, feast your eyes:

O purest of creatures! Sweet mother, sweet maid;
the one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid.
Dark night hath come down on us, Mother, and we
look out for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

Deep night hath come down on this rough-spoken world,
and the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled;
and the tempest-tossed Church - all her eyes are on thee;
they look to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

He gazed on thy soul; it was spotless and fair;
for the empire of sin - it had never been there;
none ever had owned thee, dear Mother, but he,
and he blessed thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

Earth gave him one lodging; 'twas deep in thy breast,
and God found a home where the sinner finds rest;
his home and his hiding-place both were in thee;
he was won by thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

Oh, blissful and calm was the wonderful rest
that thou gavest thy God in thy virginal breast;
for the heaven he left he found heaven in thee
and he shone in thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

So worship we God in these rude latter days;
so worship we Jesus, our Love, when we praise
his wonderful grace in the gifts he gave thee,
the gift of clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

Deep night hath come down on us, Mother, deep night,
and we need more than ever the guide of thy light;
for the darker the night is, the brighter should be
thy beautiful shining, sweet Star of the Sea.


Londiniensis said...

I haven't heard this hymn for over forty years - thank you so much for posting it.

If anyone, anywhere, has a copy of "The Westminster Hymnal" circa 1960, it will be there, along with so much else which is prayerful, beautiful, rousing and singable - and forgotten.

Augustinus said...

Mac - thanks for the additional information. I'm just amazed that all the hymns sung were so traditional. I didn;t realsie that other parishes got away with it these days. Any episcopal comments?

The 7 verses your parish sang from 'O Purest of Creatures' were verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12 from Faber's original. Since you've been kind enough to list them, I thought you might appreciate having the words of the remaining five verses (taken from 'Hymns by Frederick William Faber, Burns and Oates, 1849):

The Church doth what God had first taught her to do;
He looked o'er the world to find hearts that were true;
Through the ages He looked, and found none there but thee,
And He loved thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

To sinners what comfort, to angels what mirth,
That God found one creature unfallen on earth,
One spot where His Spirit untroubled could be,
The depths of thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

So age after age in the Church has gone round,
And the saints new inventions of homage have found,
New titles of honour, new honours for thee,
New love for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

And now from the Church of all lands thy dear name
Comes borne on the breath of one mighty acclaim;
Men called on their father, that he should decree
A new gem to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Oh shine on us brighter than ever, then, shine!
For the primest of honours, dear Mother! is thine;
"Conceived without sin," thy new title should be,
Clear light from thy birth-spring, sweet Star of the Sea!

I can see why most hymn-books didn't contain all the verses.

Mac McLernon said...

Augustinus, I haven't heard of any comments from the Bishop (yet) but he looked pretty stunned when we pointed out that this year our Confirmation numbers are actually down!!

Fr Tim is gradually bringing more and more trad stuff in. Of course, most of the youngsters don't realise it's trad... they just assume that this is how it should be!

Augustinus said...

That's the best way to reintroduce the older stuff - it's new to those learning it for the first time.

Anonymous said...

Fr Guy,
Leads us post Communion in 'O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise & all thanksgiving, be every moment Thine', sung 3 times, just like when i was a child. i think my children are getting the 'faith' passed on more like i did, without the trendy 70's 80's stuff..

newhousenewjob said...

I was at a Mass a few weeks ago at which one of the 'hymns' contained the line "Oh Lord, I feel like dancing - I know it sounds foolish". Why do so many people think that yoof prefers this drivel to beautiful old hymns with real meaning?

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