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Hymn In honour of Our Lady's Assumption

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 Contents - Aug 1999AD2000 August 1999 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Feast of the Assumption: 15 August - Peter Westmore
'Morning after' pill: the London 'Tablet' debate - AD2000 Report
News: The Church Around the World
Catalyst for Renewal: or is it a catalyst for extinction? - Edward Thornton
Cardinal Basil Hume (1923-1999), Archbishop of Westminster, R.I.P. - Christopher Quinn
Order of Australia for pregnancy counselling centre's founder - AD2000 Report
How a Canadian church was saved from destruction - Paul Likoudis
Vatican II and "Signs of the times": a call for a democratic Church? - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Archbishop Pell celebrates traditional Latin Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral - Gerard McManus
'Veil of Veronica' rediscovered in Italian abbey - Zenit News Service
The pipe organ and Catholic liturgy: an expression of Church teaching - Jeremy Fletcher
Reflection: Hymn In honour of Our Lady's Assumption - Fr Ramsey Williams SSC

A new hymn in honour of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been written for AD2000 by a priest of the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat, Father Ramsey Williams SSC.

Father Williams has subscribed to AD2000 since the time of its launching in 1988 by Mr B.A. Santamaria and is a foundation member of the Joint Ballarat Catholic/Anglican Diocesan Commission, whose first Catholic chairman was Dr George Pell - now Archbishop of Melbourne. As a member of the Commission, Father Williams had an audience with the Holy Father in Rome in 1980.

Father Williams is currently Rector of the parish of Christ the King, Hamilton, Victoria, and Editor of The Church Chronicle, the Ballarat Anglican Diocesan publication. He is a member of the Societas Sanctus Crucis (SSC), an international society of Anglican priests, which, among other things, has as its principal object the reunion of all Christians with the See of St Peter, and prays daily for that objective.

Mary's Assumption - the belief that the Mother of God, by a unique privilege was transported body and soul into heaven at the end of her life on earth - was defined as a part of revealed truth by Pope Pius XII on 1 November 1950.

It was a logical culmination of the traditional belief and teaching of Catholics through the centuries. From the earliest times, there had been a solid and deep-rooted conviction among Christians that something quite extraordinary had befallen Our Lady at the moment of her departure from this life.

This conviction found expression in writings, sermons, practices of devotion, and prayers to Mary "assumed into heaven." Churches, religious orders, cities and nations were dedicated or consecrated to her under the title of the Assumption.

The Assumption hymn, Fr Williams explains, may be adapted for all major feasts of Our Lady, and also the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C, in which the Gospel reading is that of St John 2:1-11, the story of the Wedding of Cana of Galilee (see verse 4 of the hymn).

The suggested tune for the Assumption version of the hymn is "Orientibus Partibus 77.77 and Allelulia" (Catholic Worship Book, 646) or Gwalchmai 77.77 and Allelulias (Catholic Worship Book 671 or Australian Hymn Book, Catholic Section, 623).

Mary, you now reign on high,
far beyond the earth and sky;
Queen endowed with royal grace,
highest honour of our race. (Alleluia!)

* * *

Kept from Adam's stain of sin,
child of purest origin;
asked to bear creation's King,
your reply made heaven sing: (Alleluia!)

* * *

You gave birth to God the Son,
Christ the sole-begotten One;
in a stable cold and bare,
Virgin-Mother, dear and rare. (Alleluia!)

* * *

Guest at Cana's wedding meal,
your request let Christ reveal
glory through his first great sign:
changing water into wine. (Alleluia!)

* * *

Witness of his agony,
by the Cross on Calvary:
heart of sorrow, pierced with sword:
Mother of the dying Lord.

* * *

In the Upper Room at prayer,
you kept vigil, waiting there
for the Spirit's living fire,
to encourage and inspire. (Alleluia!)

* * *

Now enthroned with Christ your Son,
Resurrection victory won;
Queen of Heaven, Star of Sea,
Mary, Mother - hear our plea: (Alleluia!)

* * *

May your Son, the world's true Light,
grant us grace to win the fight,
so with all the saints above,
praise the Father's endless love. (Alleluia!)

* * *

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 12 No 7 (August 1999), p. 20

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