Hymns Modern & Ancient

198: Hail Mother Church!

(Tune: "Be still my soul")


Pharisaios Publications 2001 Hail Mother Church! The heart of this our nation!
By thy clear word we tread our path of light;
In parish church, in abbey and cathedral,
Our liturgy is practiced with full rite;
Forward in Faith, with Mass and Holy Unction,
We stand up proud, and boldly onward fight.

With sacred oil and holy smoke ascending,
We cense the altar, people and the priest;
The Holy Scriptures carried in procession,
The Creed recited facing to the east;
Our heads are bowed each time God's name is spoken,
And thus we celebrate our holy Feast.

Loud crashing chords of music aid our singing,
As high above the organist lets rip;
The servers proffer plate and wine-filled carafe,
Treading with care in case they slide or slip;
The wafer broken, crumbs and fragments falling,
The priest conveys each morsel to his lip.

And when the invitation to come forward
Is finally made to each and every one,
No hands are used to take the holy presence,
The bread is placed upon the quivering tongue;
The chalice too, no guiding hand is offered,
And so it hits the teeth of everyone.

With chant and psalm and anthem to our Lady,
The Mass concludes with just a final rite;
In Monstrance golden and bedecked with jewels,
The Host is raised up to the highest height.
Then placed aside for evening Benediction,
We leave this place until the coming night.

Through liturgy that's full of pomp and splendour,
We offer God the best that we can give;
The sacred circus round the holy altar,
Reveals to all how heavenly people live;
And so we hold our faith and practice perfect,
To other's needs we're quite insensitive.