Mary, look upon us

In general, our plain chant and our spiritual songs run in separate but parallel tracks, but there is some cross-over – particularly in the way some paraliturgical hymns are also used as base melodies for the Cherubic Hymn at the Divine Liturgy.  Mary, look upon us (Prizri, O Marije) is one of those “dual-use” hymns.

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

Boh predvicnyj

And here is the Slavonic.

My hope with the hymnal is to allow more parishes to sing, at one and the same Divine Liturgy, the Cherubic Hymn to one of these seasonal melodies, and the spiritual song on which it is based (most likely before the service begins).


The text

The English text is a little odd in places; for example, in the first line, “favor” usually takes an object (“favor US with your grace”, or “favor…. your faithful children”). But these are minor, and the rhyme scheme and overall flow are good.

The rhythm

The rhythm here is similar to that of From our hearts we sinners, but is much more regular, and does NOT need to have rests added after each measure. Also, notice that here I have kept the tied eighth note and quarter note or half note at the ends of most phrases; it seems to be me that it much clearer here than in the other hymn, where I chose to replace them with single notes.

Thoughts or suggestions?

Please leave a comment!

2 thoughts on “Mary, look upon us”

  1. I wish your music scores had the full bass lines with the music for us organist, the meolody line alone is way beyond my skill to “invent” an accompanying bass line for the music.
    One thing I noticed is, on a number of pages you made source references to the Kacan Kolady;

    ‘Here is the harmonization of the Slavonic version, from page 10 of Professor George Kacan’s Kolady (1958)’

    I downloaded it and it has the full music in it, I was searching for the full score for Boh Predvicnyj and found your site and it’s in that Kolady as #10
    I have been following an organist’s channel in youtube who is in Slovakia, and another who is in Hungary, and managed to find and purchase their organist editions of their hymn books- JKS and SzVU which have hundreds of hymns- none of which I ever heard before! so it’s all new material for me, still, I like to find interesting church pieces from over there that Ive never heard before, such as all the pieces in the 1958 Kolady.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Randall! In our churches, at least, musical instruments are not used, so organ accompaniment is not something we think in terms of. Instead, vocal melodies are ordinarly harmonized by ear, with an alto line a parallel third below the melody in the soprano.

    I do hope to put out harmonizations of the hymn tunes once the Music Commission’s work on the hymnal is complete.

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