October 13, 2013

Sweet Savior, Bless Us

O Gentle Jesus, Be Our Light

Sweet Saviour, Bless Us was written in 1849 by Father Fredrick William Faber (1814-1863) to be sung as an evening hymn. He was the founder and first Provost of the London Oratory. It was established in 1849 at the request of Cardinal John Henry Newman. The Oratorio's first home was in a converted liquor store and dance hall. That same time period saw an influx into London of Irish fleeing the Great Famine. Many were destitute, and Fr. Faber worked tirelessly as their Pastor until his death in 1863. The present Neo-Baroque building was consecrated in 1884 and remained the focal point of the Catholic Church in London until the opening of Westminster Cathedral in 1903.

Tune: Sunset

SWEET SAVIOR, BLESS US ERE WE GO by Frederick Faber, 1852 (Public Domain)

1. Sweet Savior, bless us ere we go;
Thy Word into our minds instill,
And make our lukewarm hearts to glow
With lowly love and fervent will.

Refrain: Through life’s long day and death’s dark night,
              O gentle Jesus, be our Light.

2. The day is done, it's hours have run,
And Thou hast taken count of all,
The scanty triumphs grace hath won,
The broken vow, the frequent fall.

3. Grant us, dear Lord, from evil ways
True absolution and release:
And bless us, more than in past days,
With purity and inward peace.

4. Do more than pardon; give us joy,
Sweet fear, and sober liberty,
And simple hearts without alloy
That only long to be like Thee.

5. Labor is sweet, for Thou hast toiled,
And care is light, for Thou hast cared;
Let not our works with self be soiled,
Nor in unsimple ways ensnared.

6. For all we love, the poor, the sad,
The sinful, unto Thee we call;
O let Thy mercy make us glad:
Thou art our Jesus, and our All.

7. Sweet Savior, bless us; night is come;
Through night and darkness near us be;
Good angels watch about our home,
And we are one day nearer Thee.

Alternate Tune: Stella

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