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).

Discussion

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?

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