O Virgin Mary, most kind Mother

This is a hymn with a popular refrain, often sung enthusiastically in small groups – but the verses need work.

Here is the Slavonic, in the version printed by Fr. Stefan Papp in his Duchovni Pisni (1969):

Unlike some the songs we’ve looked at, this one has an established history in the Slavonic tradition.  The rhythm is clearly a little tricky.

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


Here, some embellishments have been added to the melody (in both the verse and refrain).  But while the refrain melody is easily learned, the verse melody is less so.  This have been my own experience at the Uniontown Pilgrimage, for example, where in the “porch singing” in the evening the cantors’ singing of the verse is very haphazard, but everything clears up at the refrain and everyone sings with gusto.

Here is the English setting from the Marian Hymnal:

As with the Slavonic, the refrain is singable (even if more complicated than in Papp), but the verse less so.


I have been unable to find a recording of this hymn, or a way to recast the verse to make it clear: even the one original Slavonic musical source we have (Papp) is somewhat obscure.

If someone can find either, I’d be happy to consider including this in the proposed hymnal, but as it stands, this is the third and final entry from the Marian Hymnal which will likely be omitted. (The others are Mary, Mother to us all and O most glorious ever-virgin Mary.)

Thoughts or suggestions?

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