Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kind Maker of the world

This is the hymn we’re learning now. It’s in a minor key, which is of course perfect for a Lenten hymn, but the Amen resolves in a major key. The trick to making his hymn sound right is not to sing it too slowly.

Kind maker of the world, O hear
The fervent prayers with many a tear
Poured forth by all the penitent
Who keep this holy fast of Lent!

Each heart is manifest to thee;
Thou knowest our infirmity;
Now we repent, and seek thy face;
Grant unto us thy pard’ning grace.

Spare us, O Lord, who now confess
Our sins and all our wickedness,
And, for the glory of thy Name,
Our weaken’d souls to health reclaim.

Give us the self-control that springs
From abstinence in outward things;
That from each stain and spot of sin,
Our souls may keep the fast within.

Grant, O thou bless├Ęd Trinity;
Grant, O unchanging Unity;
That this our fast of forty days
May work our profit and thy praise! Amen.

Words: St. Gregory the Great, 540-604; Hymnal Version, 1940
Tune: JESU DULCIS MEMORIA, pub. Aldernach, 1608

I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find a version of it on YouTube sung by a choir, but here’s an organ version of it, so you can imagine how it would sound sung in four-part harmony. [The video calls the melody “A la Venue de Noel.” I don’t know why the difference. I also think it’s bad grammar — seems like it should be du Noel. :-p ]

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Okay, I admit that I posted this just so I’d have something dated February 29 — this is the third Leap Year I’ve been blogging, and somehow I’ve never posted on Leap Day before. But still, it’s a lovely hymn, and one that’s not nearly well-enough known. :-D