O Gift of Gifts

O Gift of gifts! O grace of Faith!
My God, how can it be,
That Thou, Who hast discerning Love,
Shouldst give that gift to me?

How many hearts Thou mightst have had
More innocent than mine:
How many souls more worthy, far,
Of that sweet boon of thine.

Ah Grace! into unlikeliest hearts
It is thy boast to come:
Thy glory of thy light to find
In darkest spots a home.

How can they live, how will they die,
How bear the cross of grief,
Who have not got the light of faith,
The courage of belief?

The crowd of cares, the weightiest cross,
Seem trifles less than light;
Earth looks so little and so low,
When faith shines full and bright.

Thy choice, O God of goodness, then
I lovingly adore;
O give me grace to keep thy grace,
And grace to gain it more. Amen.

Alfred Young, The Catholic Hymnal (New York: The Catholic Publication Society Co., 1888).

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Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholicism, Christianity, Faith, Hymns, Liturgy, Meditation, Prayer, Religion, Sacred Music

Sun of My Soul

Sun of my soul, Thy Saviour dear,
It is not night if Thou be near;
O may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from thy servant’s eyes!

When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
For ever on my Saviour’s breast.

Abide with me from morn to eve,
For without Thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.

If some poor wandering child of thine
Have spurned to-day the voice divine,
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin;
Let him no more lie down in sin.

Watch by the sick; enrich the poor
With blessings from thy boundless store;
Be every mourner’s sleep to-night,
Like infant’s slumbers, pure and light.

Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere thro’ the world our way we take;
Till in the ocean of thy love
We lose ourselves in heaven above. Amen.

Alfred Young, The Catholic Hymnal (New York: The Catholic Publication Society Co., 1888).

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Litany of the Resurrection of Jesus

By the first bright Easter-day,
When the stone was roll’d away;
By the glory round thee shed
At thy rising from the dead,—

Chorus
King of glory, hear out cry!
Make us soon thy joys to see;
Hear the loving Litany
We, thy children, sing to thee.

By thy mother’s fond embrace,
By her joy to see thy face,
When, all bright in radiant bloom,
Thee she welcom’d from the tomb,—

By the joy of Magdalen,
When she saw thee once again,
And entranc’d in rapture sweet,
Knelt to kiss thy sacred feet,—

By their Joy who greeted thee
‘Mid the hills of Galilee;
By thy keys of might divine,
Vested in St. Peter’s line,—

By thy parting blessing giv’n
As thou didst ascend to heav’n;
By the cloud of living light
That receiv’d thee out of sight,—

Henry Formby, ed., First Series of Hymns and Songs for the Use of Catholic Schools and Families (London: Burns and Lambert, 1853).

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God Praised in His Works

Come, sound His praise abroad,
And hymns of glory sing;
Jehovah is the Sov’reign God,
The universal King.

Chorus
Praise ye the Lord, Alleluia,
Praise ye the Lord, Alleluia,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia,
Praise ye the Lord.

He formed the deeps unknown,
He gave the seas their bounds;
The wat’ry worlds are all His own,
And all the solid ground.

Come worship at His throne,
Come bow before the Lord;
We are His work and not our own,
He formed us by His word.

L. J. Kavanagh and James M. McLaughlin, Crown Hymnal (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1912).

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Holy Spirit, Lord of Light

Veni Sancte Spiritus

Holy Spirit, Lord of Light,
From Thy throne in splendor bright
Shed on us a ray divine;
Come, and from Thy boundless store
On our souls Thy treasures pour;
Come, and make us truly Thine.

Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
Sweet refreshment here below;
Thou in toil art rest complete,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.

O Thou blessed Light Divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill!
For, without Thee, man hath nought,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds; our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away;
Bend and sway our stubborn will;
From our heart remove the chill;
Guide our footsteps, when we stray.

Unto all Thy faithful just,
Who in Thee confide and trust,
Deign Thy seven gifts to send;
Give them virtue’s blest reward;
Give them Thy salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.

John G. Hacker, Catholic Hymnal (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1920).

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Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the Holy Anthem Rise

Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the holy anthem rise,
And the choirs of heaven chant it in the temple of the skies;
Let the mountains skip with gladness, and the joyful valleys ring
With Hosannas in the highest to our Saviour and our King.

Alleluia! Alleluia! He endur’d the knotted whips,
And the jeering of the rabble, and the scorn of mocking lips,
And the terrors of the gibbet upon which He would be slain:
But His death was only slumber–He is risen up again.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Like the sun from out the wave,
He has risen up in triumph from the darkness of the grave,
He’s the Splendour of the Nations, He’s the lamp of endless day,
He’s the very Lord of Glory who is risen up today.

Alleluia! Alleluia! He has burst our prison bars,
He has lifted up the portals of our home beyond the stars;
He has won for us our freedom–‘neath His feet our foes are trod;
He has purchased back our birthright to the Kingdom of our God.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Blessed Jesus, make us rise
From the life of this corruption to the life that never dies.
May we share with Thee Thy glory, when the days of time are past,
And the dead shall be awakened by the trumpet’s mighty blast.

The Basilian Fathers, St. Basil’s Hymnal, Rev. ed. (Chicago: John P. Daleiden Co., 1918).

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Sing We Triumphant Hymns of Praise

Sing we triumphant hymns of praise
To hail our Lord in festive days
Who by a road before untrod
Ascended to the throne of God.

In wond’ring awe His faithful band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand,
And with the Virgin Mother see
Their Lord ascend in majesty.

Then speak, bright angels, drawing nigh:
“Why stand ye gazing at the sky?
This is the Saviour’s triumph-day;
To His reward He went away.”

“Returning to His heavenly throne,
He takes His kingdom for His own;
And thence again, when time shall end,
To judge the nations shall descend.”

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord;
Be Thou our joy and strong defense,
And our eternal recompense.

John G. Hacker, Catholic Hymnal (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1920).

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholicism, Christianity, Faith, Hymns, Liturgy, Meditation, Prayer, Religion, Sacred Music