April 24, 2016

From the Rippling of the River

From the Rippling of the River is a hymn by the Catholic Priest, author, and hymn writer Reverend Father Henry Augustus Rawes (1826-1885). A convert from the Church of England, he was ordained a Catholic Priest in 1857. He was an original member of the English Congregation of Oblates of St. Charles, established the Church of St. Francis of Assisi (Notting Hill, London), and (with approval of Pope Leo XIII) founded the Confraternity of the Servants of the Holy Ghost in 1879. He composed a handbook for the society which contained devotions to the Holy Spirit. Among them was a "Little Office of the Holy Ghost" which utilized the following hymn. For each of the traditional hours of the Breviary, two verses where sung. No tune is specified, but it can sung to Drakes Broughton by Edward Elgar, as featured in the video below.



From the rippling of the river.
From the waving tree of life,
Gabriel came, a fiery splendour,
Came from God to Joseph's wife.

When with spirit, strong and tender.
Low he knelt in Mary's cell,
In the wondrous work of ages
Jesus came with us to dwell.


Angels, kneeling by the manger,
Gazed upon the kingly Child;
Jesus, born of Virgin-Mother,
Looked up in her face and smiled.

Through long years He dwelt with Mary
In the holy home unseen;
Waiting for the time appointed.
Lived the lowly Nazarene.


On He went, with blessings laden,
In His sweetness and His might;
And the souls that lay in darkness
Saw the shining of His light.

Crucified and dead. He slumbered
Sweetly in His garden grave:
In His risen light ascending,
Blessings to His own He gave.


After ten long days of waiting
Came the Spirit from above;
For He would not leave them orphans,
And He brought them gifts of love.

Fount of truth and light and healing.
With His gifts that Spirit came;
Then the tongues of cloven brightness
Swiftly set their hearts on flame.


Then the sevenfold grace descended;
With it all their souls were filled;
And they gave their Master's message.
Speaking as the Spirit willed.

Forth they went in light and gladness.
Never ceasing, never dim;
Leaving every love for Jesus,
Giving every love to Him.


Reigneth over all the Spirit
Of the Father and the Son;
Yet in lowly hearts He dwelleth
Till the work of God be done.

Balsam of the true Physician,
Always, Holy Ghost, Thou art;
Healing every pain and sorrow.
Giving joy to every heart.


Now the shades of evening deepen,
Now the night comes on apace;
Holy Spirit, give Thy servants
Thoughts of fire and gifts of grace.

Thou dost shine on those who love Thee,
Through the darkness of the night;
Holy Spirit, be our Helper,
Be our Everlasting Light.


May the Spirit, dwelling in us.
As the noonday, bright and clear,
Fill the souls of all His servants
Full of love and holy fear.

So when Jesus comes to judgment,
And before His throne we stand,
Words of gracious love will bring us
Safely to the Promised Land.

March 27, 2016

Rex Sempiterne Cælitum / O Thou, the Heavens' Eternal King

EASTERTIDE - Rex Sempiterne Cælitum is an anonymous Ambrosian hymn dating back to the 6th century. Originally titled: Rex coterie Domine, the text has gone through a number of significant changes over the centuries including those made for a Benedictine Breviary and by Pope Urban VIII. St. Bede (672?-735) sings it's praises in De Arte Metrica as "that admirable hymn... fashioned exquisitely after the model of iambic metre". In the Roman Breviary it is traditionally sung at Matins during the Paschal season. The translation given below: O Thou, the Heavens' Eternal King  is Hymn 61 in Fr. Britts' Hymns of the Breviary and Missal. It is "a cento" (from the Latin word for patchwork) meaning: "a poetic form made up of lines various from poems", or in this case other verses from translations of the hymn. It can be sung to the hymn tune: St. Botolph, as featured in the videos below.


1. Rex sempiterne coelitum,
Rerum Creator omnium,
Aequalis ante secular
Semper Parenti Filius.

 2. Nascente qui mundo Faber
Imaginem vultus tui
Tradens Adamo, nobilem
Limo jugasti spirit.

3. Cum livor et fraus daemonis
Foedasset humanum genus:
Tu carne amictus, perditam
Formam reformas Artifex.

 4. Qui natus olim e Virgine,
Nunc e sepulcro nasceris
Tecumque nos a mortuis
Jubes sepultos surgiere.

5. Qui pastor aeternus gregem
Aqua lavas Baptismatis:
Haec est lavacrum mentium;
Haec est sepulcrum criminum.

6. Nobis diu qui debitae
Redemptor affixus Cruci,
Nostrae dedisti prodigus
Pretium salutis sanguines.

7. Ut sis perenne mentibus
Paschale, Jesu, gaudium,
A morte dira criminum
Vitae renatos libera.

8. Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
In sempiterna secular.

Click here for music/text which Fr. Vogel sings. (opens in new window)

O THOU, THE HEAVENS' ETERNAL KING (from "Hymns of the Breviary and Missal")

1. O Thou, the heavens' eternal King,
Creator, unto Thee we sing,
With God the Father ever One,
Co-equal, co-eternal Son.

2. Thy hand, when first the world began,
Made in Thine own pure image man,
And linked to Adam, sprung from earth,
A living soul of heavenly birth.

3. And when by craft the envious foe
Had marred Thy noblest work below,
Clothed in our flesh, Thou didst restore
The image Thou hadst made before-

4. Once wast Thou born of Mary's womb;
And now, new-born from out the tomb,
0 Christ, Thou bidd'st us rise with
Thee From death to immortality.

5. Eternal Shepherd, Thou dost lave
Thy flock in pure baptismal wave—
That mystic bath, that grave of sin,
Where ransomed souls new life begin.

6. Redeemer, Thou for us didst deign
To hang upon the Cross of pain,
And give for us the lavish price
Of Thine own Blood in sacrifice.

7. Grant, Lord, in Thee each faithful mind
Unceasing Paschal joy may find;
And from the death of sin set free
Souls newly born to life by Thee.

8. To Thee, once dead, who now dost live,
All glory, Lord, Thy people give,
Whom, with the Father, we adore,
And Holy Ghost forevermore.