immaculate-heart-of-maryHere’s a hymn, the source of much consternation in the organ loft. Many people sing it to the tune of the Lourdes Hymn, but all hymnbooks set it to the German tune from the Paderborn Gesangbuch. Because hymnbook writers prefer the proper tune, but lazy pew potatoes go for the easy one.

Note, there are no “Ave”s in this one. That’s a Lourdes Hymn thing. Just a straight hymn to Our Lady. Written by the oratorian priest, Fr Frederick Faber. Famous for veering towards the sentimental side with his hymn writing. I’m sure he would have worn a surplice with a good 5 inches of lace at least.

O purest of creatures! sweet Mother, sweet Maid;
The one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid.
Dark night hath come down on us, Mother, and we
Look out for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

2 Deep night hath come down on this rough-spoken world.
And the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled;
And the tempest-tossed Church—all her eyes are on thee.
They look to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

3 He gazed on thy soul, it was spotless and fair;
For the empire of sin, it had never been there;
None ever had owned thee, dear Mother, but He,
And He blessed thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

4 Earth gave Him one lodging; ’twas deep in thy breast,
And God found a home where the sinner finds rest;
His home and His hiding-place, both were in thee;
He was won by thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

5 Oh, blissful and calm was the wonderful rest
That thou gavest thy God in thy virginal breast;
For the heaven He left He found heaven in thee,
And He shone in thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.
Frederick William Faber, 1814–63

Here are my files – I’ve only typed up the soprano and bass lines for playing on the organ because I don’t do my regular practice.
Lilypond source and midi file: OPurestSource
And the printable pdf: OPurest

And here is a karaoke version with full organ and congregation joining in.

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