O Purest Of Creatures! Sweet Mother! Sweet Maid

This is the full, original text from an 1852 edition of Fr. Faber’s hymnal Jesus and Mary. It is listed for The Immaculate Conception in that hymnal. It appears under the same title in Hymns By Frederick Faber, D.D. (1871 edition):

O purest of creatures! sweet Mother! sweet Maid!
The one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid!
Dark night hath come down on us, Mother! and we
Look out for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Deep night hath come down on this rough-spoken world,
And the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled:
And the tempest-tost Church—all her eyes are on thee,
They look to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

The Church doth what God had first taught her to do;
He looked o’er the world to find hearts that were true;
Through the ages He looked, and He found none but thee,
And He loved thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

He gazed on thy soul; it was spotless and fair;
For the empire of sin—it had never been there;
None had e’er owned thee, dear Mother, but He,
And He blessed thy clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Earth gave Him one lodging; ’twas deep in thy breast,
And God found a home where the sinner finds rest;
His home and His hiding-place, both were in thee;
He was won by thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

O(1) blissful and, calm was the wonderful rest
That thou gavest thy God in thy virginal breast;
For the heaven He left He found heaven in thee,
And He shone in thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

To sinners what comfort, to angels what mirth,
That God found one creature unfallen on earth,
One spot where His Spirit untroubled could be,
The depths of thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

So age after age in the Church has gone round,
And the saints new inventions of homage have found,
New titles of honour, new honours for thee,
New love for thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

And now from the Church of all lands thy dear name
Comes borne on the breath of one mighty acclaim;
Men call on their father, that He should decree
A new gem to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

O shine on us brighter than ever, then, shine!
For the primest of honours, dear Mother! is thine;
“Conceived without sin,” thy new title shall be,
Clear light from thy birth-spring, sweet Star of the Sea!

So worship we God in these rude latter days;
So worship we Jesus our Love, when we praise
His wonderful grace in the gifts He gave thee,
The gift of clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Deep night hath come down on us, Mother, deep night,
And we need more than ever the guide of thy light;
For the darker the night is, the brighter should be
Thy beautiful shining, sweet Star of the Sea!

Words: Fr. Frederick William Faber, C.O., 1849.
Tune:Normandy” Basque Carol.
Tune (St. Basil Hymnal): Unnamed Tune.

Meter: 11.11.11.11

(1) This is rendered “Oh” in Hymns By Frederick Faber, D.D. (1871 edition).

This is the text of this hymn as it appears in the 10th edition (1906) of the St. Basil’s Hymnal (1889) where it is listed under “Blessed Virgin Mary”:

O purest of creatures! sweet Mother, sweet Maid!
The one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid,
Dark night hath come down on us, Mother, and we
Look out for Thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

To sinners what comfort, to angels what mirth,
That God found one creature unfallen on earth,
One spot where His Spirit untroubled could be,
The depths of thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

So worship we God in these rude latter days(1).
So worship we Jesus, our Love, when we praise
His wonderful grace in the gifts He gave Thee,
The gift of clear shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

Deep night has come down on us, Mother! deep night
We need more than ever the guide of Thy light;
For the darker the night is, the brighter should be
Thy beautiful shining, sweet Star of the Sea.

(1) the text has “day.” This appears to be a typo.

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About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Advent, Frederick W. Faber, Hymns By The Greats, Major Feasts, The Blessed Virgin Mary, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Immaculate Conception (December 8) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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