Spiritual songs > Hymns to the Mother of God

All the faithful come before you

This is the first hymn to the Mother of God that we will look at, and it illustrates a variety of issues we will encounter with these hymns.

Current version

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

Boh predvicnyj

This English setting of Christijane, proslavl'ajme is by Father William Levkulic. Here is the Slavonic, also from the Marian Hymnal:

This hymn was reviewed as part of the Hymnal Project of the Metropolitan Cantor Institute. See the discussion page.

Discussion

Accents in the text

In Slavonic, the hymn is in a very strong duple meter; which could be written as 4/4 or even 2/4 time. Every accented syllable falls on a beat.

In English, the first line of the refrain CAN be sung as written, matching the flow of the original:

But the final (added) line of the refrain ends up with very bad accents:

In practice, it is usually sung like plain chant, with no regular beat:

before returning to the regular beat at "Keep us free from fear." This in turn leads some to sing the FIRST line of the refrain differently:

My recommendation would be to keep the first line as written, adding an explicit accent:

but allowing the final, added line to move into chant rhythm, so that the words don't have to be changed. Here is the result:

What do you think?

The refrain

Like many of our spiritual songs, the refrain is sung twice. This particular hymn has the peculiarity that an additional line is added to the refrain, but not repeated:

Glory we give to you, our prayer and pleading hear;
Be our loving intercessor when our death is near.
Never abandon your children; keep us free from fear.
Glory we give to you, our prayer and pleading hear;
Be our loving intercessor when our death is near.

I am not completely happy with how this is shown above, but it is probably sufficient.

Thoughts or suggestions?

Please leave a comment on this blog entry: Nine Songs for the Mother of God.