Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hymn for the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church

The redoubtable Mrs. Geraldine Hildreth recently suggested on these pages that I might write a hymn for the new feast on the Universal Calendar, Mary, Mother of the Church.

As it happens, I have just the thing.

I wrote this originally for the Immaculate Conception, and it's easy to see that great feast's influence here:

The first verse is taken from the definition of the Immaculate Conception, which I believe is paraphrased in the Preface of that day.

The second verse is taken from the Epistle of the day from Ephesians 1, which is also the Canticle for Evening Prayer on Mondays.

Verse 3 is the reason I thought it would be particularly appropriate for the new Memorial. I drew its ideas from the final chapter of Lumen Gentium, which speaks of the Blessed Mother's relationship of exemplarity for the Church as we travel through time. It has a special reference to the Alma Redemptoris Mater.

And the fourth verse is also drawn from Ephesians, and also from the very last page of the Bible, St. John's cry for the coming of the Lord.

I no longer hold the copyright to this text, but the book in which it is printed is inexpensive and the purchase of one copy includes permission to print all the hymns as many times as needed for a church or school. Details at CanticaNOVA.com

1. Free from all stain of evil,
From sin of any kind,
Our holy Mother Mary
Was born of lost mankind.
The Father kept her pure
To bear His Son, Christ Jesus,
The Savior of our race.

2. Before the world was fashioned,
Before the dawn of time,
The holy God eternal
Chose Christ’s beloved bride.
He chose the Church in love
To sing the praise of glory:
The riches of His grace.

3. Mary shows forth the beauty
Of God’s eternal plan,
She guides the Church to heaven
As stars guide ships to land.
We follow her, secure,
Though darkness seems prevailing,
To God’s abiding place.

4. Freed from all stain of evil,
From sin of ev’ry kind,
Christ’s Church before the Father
At the appointed time.
O come, Christ, haste the day.
O bring us home with Mary
Before the throne of grace.
Copyright © 2005 CanticaNOVA Publications. Duplication restricted.

Meter: Suggested tune: Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen
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