St Therese of the Child Jesus

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I have a little hymnbook called “Dwyer’s Catholic Hymn Book”. It is a little like a hermit crab as its cover proclaims it to be “The Australian Catholic Hymn Book by Louis Gille Ltd.” The Imprimatur is from 1940.

Looking for hymns for the Draft Traditional Hymnbook there was an idea to put in hymns to each of Australia’s Patron saints – Our Lady Help of Christians, St Therese of the Child Jesus and St Francis Xavier. St Therese is a fairly recent saint so hymns in her honour are a bit more tricky to find, but she is incredibly popular. The verses that follow are from a hymn credited to A Daily Hymn Book. I don’t have any more information as I don’t have a copy of the Daily Hymn Book and Dwyer’s gives no more info. Checking with a library, the only credit is to “a Carmelite nun”.

1 Lift up thine eyes unto the hills,
And see o’er Carmel’s distant height,
A new and brilliant star, which thrills
Our souls with its celestial light!

2 ‘Mid all the stars which crown our Queen,
Or lilies of her heav’nly bower,
No star, no bloom hath fairer been
Than Jesus’ humble “Little Flow’r,”

3 Hers was no life to gain renown,
Or move the world her praise to sing,
She won no martyr’s ruby crown,
No message bore to Pope or King.

4 Then, why the bright, unearthly glow
Which crowns that brow so sweet and mild?
It mirrors forth, for us below,
Christ’s words: “Be as a little child.”

5 Hidden by Carmel’s cloister-wall,
But e’en more “hid with Christ in God,”
Love’s victim, who, in giving all,
Her “Little Way” unswerving trod.

6 No earthly cloud e’er came between
Teresa and her Only Love,
While all unnotic’d and unseen,
She lived as angels live above.

7 And still her pray’rs make sick men whole,
To anguish’d minds bring peace and rest—
More wondrous still, those heal’d in soul
By thousands “rise, and call her blest.”

8 Teresa of the Child Divine!
Styl’d “Saint” by Holy Church’s pow’r,
The sacred aureole is thine—
But still thou’rt Jesus’ “Little Flower.”

Pick your favourite Long Meter tune for singing.

I’ve taken just the last 4 stanzas for my hymnbook.


Drafting a new hymnbook

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We are lucky here in the Blue Mountains to have a Latin Mass each Sunday at Lawson. Unfortunately we don’t have a choir, the organ is temperamental and the hymnbooks need editing.

The Woodford Hymnal is an attempt to make a new hymnbook for accompanying the Latin Mass. Unlike the New Book of Old Hymns, music is not included – just the words.

Recently I had the good fortune to attend the Latin Mass in Canberra. The choir finished with a rousing Holy God, we praise Thy Name. Unfortunately I did not pick up a hymn sheet on the way in and thought it wouldn’t matter as I had a hymnbook with me (the Marist Brothers’ Hymn Book). But not content with the standard 2-3 verse rendition, the choir went on for seven verses (or was it eight?).

So this hymnbook will have lots of verses. Any choir is free to skip verses if time presses, but the pew books will be fully equipped with all the Catholic poetry available.

Another thing is the benefit of having both Latin and English versions of each hymn.

Looking at the layout of different hymnbooks was instructive too. Thanks to generous souls I have a copy of the Westminster Hymnal’s pew book, which is remarkably similar to the Living Parish little red book that is in use at the Maternal Heart of Mary Church. Unfortunately the drop cap package doesn’t work with the centering verses package in LaTeX, if anyone has a solution for that, please drop me a line.

Would anyone else be interested in such a hymnbook?

Does anyone know about the process of getting ecclesiastical approval for such an endeavour? Is it necessary? How many years does it usually take? Is there a short way?

Then would a matching Organ Edition be in order? And a Choir Edition?