Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Hymns and hearse

To be fair, the bride who wanted "Fight the good fight with all thy might" was not a Catholic. Nor was the one who chose "I vow to thee, my Country". The latter was among the sillier things I have been asked to sing at a wedding- chosen, I believe, in imitation of her royal highness the Princess of Wales. On the other hand, the lady who selected "This is the image of our Queen" was. Why she chose it for us to sing at the end of Sunday Mass in February with its reference to "this thine own sweet month of May" is not known. What each example does suggest, however, is that a vernacular text is no guarantee of comprehension. Lest it be thought I mock the simple-minded I will point out that I myself have problems with understanding vernacular texts as in some hymns (Shine, Jesus, Shine) or, frequently, in Bidding Prayers.


  1. I love 'This is the image' - never hear it sung nowadays.

  2. So do I. I also like a lot of other Marian hymns like "O Purest of Creatures", "Mary Immaculate, Star of the Morning", "Virgin Wholly Marvellous", "Ave Maris Stella", "Maiden yet a Mother","Daily daily, sing to Mary" "Hail, Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star",and so on.I think it sad that so many of them aren't sung but it is a matter of when appropriate.

  3. We sang many of these other hymns regularly at my parish Church - but then I was organist (up to a few months ago), so got to choose1 I don't think things have changed much since, because this morning (feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) they sang Hail Queen of Heaven and Immaculate Mary. So I was a happy.

  4. "Immaculate Mary our hearts are on fire!
    That title so wondrous fills all our desire!"
    Who would not be happy? I think that first verse of the Lourdes hymn alludes to the consultation carried out by Pope Leo IX with the bishops of the whole world before he solemnly defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. The bishops expressed the "desire" of the faithful that the pope define the doctrine. There is a lot to many of these old hymns.