New Hymns

So I got a few new hymns written or finished last week while in West Virginia.

An Eastern Orthodox Altar with the Seven-Branched Lampstand

This one I was first inspired to write on Pentecost. It’s a seven-fold hymn to the Holy Spirit. Each verse deals with one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is also an acrostic as the Beginning letter of each verse spells out MENORAH. My idea there was that there is the image of the 7 branched lampstand, the menorah, before the Throne of God in heaven which represents the seven Spirits of God according to Revelation 4:5, so I wanted to write an acrostic hymn to the Holy Spirit dealing with the seven gifts of the Spirit. Here it is:

Mighty and All-Holy Spirit,
Sev’nfold Spirit of the Lord,
Come in might; perfect within us
All Thy gifts Thou hast outpoured!
Grant the light of Thine own wisdom
To our strained and longing eyes,
That we may yet better know Thee,
Rightly love Thee, O Most High!

Enter in our hearts more fully;
Give us grace to understand
What, O Spirit, Thou revealest
And to trust in Thy command!
Let us enter ever deeper
Into Thy great truth and light
And to dwell upon Thy myst’ries
Leading to eternal life!

Now we pray Thee, Holy Spirit,
Grant unto us grace on grace
That we may draw ever near Thee
And at last may see Thy Face!
Grant to us Thy mighty counsel
That we e’er may judge aright,
And may know Thy will all-holy,
And discern the dark from light.

O most Holy, gracious Spirit,
Make us steadfast in our faith;
Grant us strength amidst our struggle,
Perseverance in the race!
Fortitude now pour upon us
That we e’er hold fast to Thee,
Daily growing in all virtue,
Faith, hope, joy and charity!

Righteous and All-Knowing Spirit,
God before all worlds began,
Thou didst hover o’er the waters
As the Father all began.
Grant to us, Creator Spirit,
Knowledge of Thy glorious truth,
Eyes of faith that in creation
Perceive what Thou, Lord, dost do!

All-Adored and Loving Spirit,
Grant to our hearts piety,
That we may yet love more deeply
Thee, O Lord, Blessed Trinity!
Let us know Thy gracious favor,
That through Jesus we are sons,
And that all men bear Thine Image,
Thus deserving of our love.

Holy Spirit, Sanctifier,
Who hast spoken from of old
In the words of Sacred Scripture
That the wise man fears the Lord,
Grant to us this seed of wisdom,
Holy fear and awe of God,
That at length in Thy great Kingdom
We may ever live above!

Words: Noah Townsend, Copyright 2012.

An Illumination Depicting Isaiah’s Vision in the Temple

I wanted to write a Eucharistic hymn based on Isaiah 6. Most of my thinking there can be seen in my post from February 9th. The line “Burn off our rust and deformity” commes from John Donne’s poem “Good Friday 1613: Riding Westward.” Ever since I first read that poem, that line has always stuck with me and become a favorite prayer of mine:

As to Isaiah in the days of old,
Whom Thou didst deign Thy glory let behold
So now to us Thou dost Thyself reveal
In this blessed Sacrament we e’er revere!

“O Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of Hosts”
Cries out before Thee all the angel host
With veilèd faces and with downcast eye
From age to age they sing to Thee, Most High!

So like Isaiah we before Thee fall
In adoration, trembling, fear and awe;
Thy burning love and glory, Lord All-Blessed,
Causeth us with Isaiah to confess:

“Woe unto me! For now I am undone;
I am a man of unclean lips and tongue!
Amidst a people like myself I dwell,
Yet have I seen the God of Israel!”

Unto Isaiah in the days of old
Fleweth the seraph with the blazing coal:
“Lo! This hath touched thy lips and cleansed thy sin;
The gracious Lord all thy guilt doth forgive!”

So, Lord, Thy Body and Thy Precious Blood,
The blazing coal of Thy consuming love,
Like to Isaiah now hath touched our lips;
Lord in Thy mercy burn away our sins!

Lord, burn off our rust and deformity!
Make now our hearts be conformed unto Thee!
Through this blessed Sacrament, O gracious Lord,
Remake us in Thine Image evermore!

Words: Noah Townsend, Copyright 2012. Based on Isaiah 6

This hymn is based on the traditional “Memorare” prayer. The text of the prayer and the hymn are below:

Remember, most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O thou Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions but in thy clemency hear and answer them. Amen.

Remember, Most Gracious Mary,
Ne’er before hath it been known
That those seeking thy protection
And thine aid didst thou disown
Memorare! Memorare!
Blessed Virgin hear my plea!
Blessed Virgin hear my plea!

With this hope inspired I fly now,
Blessed Mother, unto thee!
Sinful and in sorrow I stand now
Trusting in thy clemency.
Memorare! Memorare!
Blessed Virgin hear my plea!
Blessed Virgin hear my plea!

Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Do not now my pleas despise;
Hear and answer me, O Mother,
Lead me to thy Son, the Christ!
Memorare! Memorare!
Blessed Virgin hear my plea!
Blessed Virgin hear my plea!

Words: Noah Townsend, Copyright 2012. Based on the Memorare prayer
Tune:Cwm Rhondda


About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Blessed Virgin Mary, Christianity, Hymnody, Liturgy, Prayer and Devotion. Bookmark the permalink.

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