Thursday, November 1, 2012

A wonderful All Souls' Day hymn

Go HERE to last year's post for some Anglican resources for All Souls' Day. The following is one of my favourite All Souls' hymns, expressing the magnitude of the Salvation won for us by Christ, as well as the unity of all who believe in him. I have often used this hymn - for obvious reasons - during the Offertory at the All Souls' Day Mass. It is the translation by R.F. Littledale (1833-1890) of a 13th century Latin sequence, and goes best to the French tune "Grafton" (Chants Ordinaires d l’Office Divin, 1881). 

Christ enthroned in highest heaven, 
Hear us, crying from the deep 
For the faithful ones departed, 
For the souls of all that sleep; 
As thy kneeling Church entreateth, 
Hearken, Shepherd of the sheep. 

King of glory, hear our voices, 
Grant the faithful rest, we pray; 
We have sinned and may not bide it, 
If thou mark our steps astray, 
Yet we plead that saving Victim, 
Which for them we bring today. 

That which thou thyself hast offered 
To thy Father, offer we: 
By thy sacrifice, O Jesu, 
From sin's burden set them free; 
Hear us, loving friend of sinners, 
Merciful and gracious be. 

They are thine, O take them to thee; 
Thou their hope, O raise them high; 
In thy mercy ever trusting, 
Confident we make our cry 
That the souls which thou hast purchased 
May unto thy heart be nigh. 

Let thy plenteous loving-kindness 
On them evermore be poured; 
Let them through thy boundless mercy 
Be to boundless life restored, 
And within thy Father's mansions 
Give to each a place, O Lord. 

Where the Saints, thy throne surrounding, 
Join in the angelic song, 
Where thy Mother, raised in glory, 
Leads the great redeem├ęd throng, 
Grant that we, with souls departed, 
May through grace at length belong.


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