Christians, join in our procession

Hymns to the Mother of God are indelibly connected with pilgrimage to her many shrines – that is one reason some of them have so many verses!  But in the hymn Christians, join in our procession (Christijane pribihajte), we have a spiritual song which provides an entire theology of pilgrimage.

Here is the version in the Marian Hymnal (1984):

Boh predvicnyj

And here is the Slavonic.

Discussion

This is another hymn of somewhat uncertain origin – but it works well as a pilgrimage processional, and the fit of the English accents to music is not bad.

I am not convinced that it is really in 4/4 time throughout – 2/2 might be better. Also, do you think we should include time signatures in regularly metered hymns like this one?  (I decided against it for Beautiful Holy Queen, but that was because part of the hymn was metered and part was in “chant style.”)

There is ONE slightly bad accent: verse 1 ends, “When we praise the Mother of God”, and the half note on “of” lands rather heavily. Given the theological nature of this hymn, I propose, just this one, changing “Mother of God” to her formal title, “Theotokos”, which fits the rhythm perfectly.

Thoughts or suggestions?

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