|Assist Our Song|
You Holy Angels Bright is an adaption of a poem by Richard Baxter (1615-1691) first published in 1681. He took Holy Orders in the Church of England in 1640, but over time adopted increasingly Puritanical views. During the English Civil War (1642–1651) he acted as Chaplain to one of Oliver Cromwell's (1599-1658) regiments. When the throne was restored, he was offered a bishopric, but he declined. He spent the remainder of his life as a Non-Conformist Minister. Ye Holy Angels Bright was written the same year that he lost his wife. The poem was adapted by Anglican Clergyman, John Hampden Gurney (1802–1862) as a hymn, with a later modern revision by editor, Anthony G. Petti for the New Catholic Hymnal. It is set to Darwall's 148th by the Anglican Clergyman and hymnodist, John Darwall (1731-1789). It was written in 1770 for the inauguration of a new organ at St. Matthew's Parish Church in Walsall where he was vicar. In the Liturgy of the Hours You Holy Angels Bright is used on September 29 on the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael; Archangels.
YE HOLY ANGELS BRIGHT by Richard Baxter, 1681 (Public Domain)
1. Ye holy angels bright,
Who wait at God's right hand,
Or through the realms of light
Fly at your Lord's command,
Assist our song, or else the theme
Too high doth seem for mortal tongue.
2. Ye blessèd souls at rest,
Who ran this earthly race
And now, from sin released,
Behold your Savior's face,
God's praises sound, as in His light
With sweet delight ye do abound.
3. Ye saints, who toil below,
Adore your heavenly King,
And onward as ye go
Some joyful anthem sing;
Take what He gives, and praise Him still,
Through good or ill, who ever lives.
4. My soul, bear thou thy part,
Triumph in God above,
And with a well-tuned heart
Sing thou the songs of love;
Let all thy days till life shall end,
Whate'er He send, be filled with praise.