Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thy Best Name of Comforter

O Breath of God, breathe on us now,
And move within us while we pray:
The Spring of our new life art thou,
The very light of our new day.

O strangely art thou with us here
Neither in height nor depth to seek:
But ever shall thy voice be near
Spirit to spirit, thou dost speak.

Christ is our Advocate on high;
Thou art our Advocate within.
To plead the truth, and make reply
To every argument of sin.

Be with me when no other friend
The mystery of my heart can share;
And be thou known, when fears transcend,
By thy best name of Comforter.

Alfred H. Vine, 1895
Thomas Tallis, 1560

We have a long way to go until Lent this year (which is fine with me), another whole month before Ash Wednesday. In the meantime, a hymn to the Holy Spirit is never out of place.

It's been nearly a year since I last used TALLIS' CANON for another text, but it's a good, familiar tune that people sing well. I don't know that I'd sing it as a round in this particular case, but it's always a possibility.

P.S., the window above is in the Latin chapel of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.

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