Monday, April 21, 2008

Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Italian-born Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, died on this day in 1109, which is commemorated in both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal calendars of saints. He was considered one of the first scholarly philosophers of Christian theology, but he also wrote the Mariale, a series of poems about the Blessed Mother.

This video presents some of those poems juxtaposed with the stained glass windows from St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney and choral accompaniment (which I can't identify).

Like most saints, he has a Victorian-era hymn tune named for him, presented here with a commemorative text useful for many saints' days.

Creator, by whose people
Our house was built of old,
Whose hand hath crowned thy children
With blessing manifold,
For thine unfailing mercies
Far-strewn along our way,
With all who passed before us,
We praise thy Name today.

The changeful years unresting
Their silent course have sped,
New comrades ever bringing
In comrades' steps to tread;
And some are long forgotten,
Long spent their hopes and fears;
Safe rest they in thy keeping,
Who changest not with years.

They reap not where they labored;
We reap what they have sown;
Our harvest may be garnered
By ages yet unknown.
The days of old have dowered us
With gifts beyond all praise;
Creator, make us faithful
To serve the coming days.

Before us and beside us,
Still held in thine own hand
A cloud unseen of witness,
Our elder comrades stand:
One family unbroken,
We join, with one acclaim,
One heart, one voice uplifting
To glorify thy Name.

George Wallace Briggs, 1920; alt.
Tune: ST. ANSELM (
Joseph Barnby, 1869

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