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Saturday, November 26, 2005

New 'ymn

I've managed to cough up another one. The last verse still needs to be tidied up a bit and I'm not entirely sure that it's The Done Thing (TM) to paraphrase the Cherubic Hymn and arrange it in metrical form, but there we have it.

Let us, who in a mystery,
exalt God's holy Name -
the life-creating Trinity,
from age to age the same,
now worship with the cherubim
with praise upon each tongue,
with 'Holy, Holy, Holy', bow,
and thus join in their song.

O let our minds be filled with grace,
God's name within our hearts;
let worldly thoughts and earthly cares
now from our thoughts depart,
so that, within our bodies, souls
and minds, we may receive
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
the Christ, the Prince of Peace.

He comes, invisibly upborne
triumphantly on high,
by rank on rank of angel-hosts
to us, who make our cry:
'We sing to God the Trinity,
we come from near and far,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
and thrice Alleluia!'

(c) Michael Astley 2005

I haven't decided on a tune, but it's Double Long Metre. Still working on it.


Aristibule said...

U. of Exeter has a MA programme in Cathedral Music that sounds like it would have been right up your alley. That does look very much along the lines of John Mason Neale's work.

Barnabas said...

Great to have you back Michael, have missed you!

Anonymous said...

Excellent work!

Now, your challenge is to fix the description seraphim in the prayer that describes them as "six-winged, many-eyed, soaring aloft, borne on their pinions"....

It is told for the truth that one time when a small boy heard that about the "pinions", he asked his mother, "Is that like penguins?"

Leetle M.
Glad to see you!

Anonymous said...

Good to see you back again, Michael. Have you got a link to an "un-metricised" Cherubic Hymn?

And I'm sure you don't need me to suggest a wonderful DCM tune... ;-)


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not a bit bashful and I think it fits the lovely Welsh tune "Meirionydd" perfectly if you put two syllables on the final long note ending the first and alternate lines!

Best wishes,

Leetle M.

Michael said...

Ooooo! Thanks everyone for your kind words. Than you, as well, for the honour, Aristibule. I wouldn't consider my re-wording to be in the same class J. M. Neale's works, but I'm very flattered.

An English translation of the cherubic hymn is:
Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim, and chant the thrice-holy hymn unto the life-creating Trinity, now lay aside all earthly care, that we may receive the King of all, Who cometh invisibly upborne in triumph by the ranks of angels. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

It's from the Liturgy of S. John Chrysostom, and is perhaps the equivalent to the Offertory chant in the West. The Liturgy of S. James uses a different hymn, which you may know translated as the hymn "Let all mortal flesh keep silence", which is often misused as a communion hymn instead of an offertory hymn.

Anonymous said...

Great to see you back posting: and especially wondrous to see such a wonderful hymn [don't be's great].

God bless; you remain in my prayers catechumen Michael.

Fellow Catechumen Ian.

duchessSoF said...

You are talented! I wish I could make my worship-leader-dude use this in church, but I can't even get him to do All things Bright and Beautiful yet (I have been on a campaign for months too for that one).

When you get the music, I will be very interested in it.

Will you make it public domain?

Joe said...

Great Work Michael, the Hymnogropher of Manchester. ;)

Joe Zollars

Eric John said...

Speaking of J.M. Neale, I found out he died on Transfiguration (avoiding the "tollhouses," so to speak) and the highest ranking clergy at his funeral were Orthodox. I thought that was pretty cool.

Ian said...

I had no idea of that; thank you Eric.

Anonymous said...

What tune should this be set to? Have you considered "Yankee Doodle"? :) (If you're not familiar, I think it's also the theme from the purple dinosaur show "Barney": "Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination....")

Anonymous said...

Alas for Yankee Doodle and "Barney"...

If I were going to be suggesting something along those lines, if anyone wanted something "patriotic" sounding, I'd suggest adding a few extra notes to stressed syllables as you go along and sing it to "And did those Feet...." or "Land of Hope and Glory...." But I am not making any such suggestions!

Leetle M.

Joe said...

egads! sounds very american protestant if you ask me...

Joe Zollars

PS: not referring to the hymn itself of course.