A Poor Brother's Hymnal
Monday, April 02, 2007
  Hail Thee, Festival Day!
“Blessed be the Lord this day.” 1 Kings 5:7

Venantius Fortunatus (530-609)

Words: Venan­ti­us For­tu­na­tus (530-609) (Sal­ve fes­ta di­es toto ven­er­a­bi­lis ae­vo); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Maurice F. Bell in The Eng­lish Hymn­al (Lon­don: Ox­ford Un­i­ver­si­ty Press, 1906), num­ber 624.

Music: Salve Festa Dies, Ralph Vaughan Williams, in The Eng­lish Hymn­al (Lon­don: Ox­ford Un­i­ver­si­ty Press, 1906) (MI­DI, score). Originally credited to “Anonymous,” Vaugh­an Will­iams was named as the com­pos­er in Songs of Praise, 1931.

The com­plex­i­ty of this score makes it a chal­lenge for con­gre­ga­tion­al use (there are three ver­sions for dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions, which can be sung sep­ar­ate­ly or com­bined). How­ev­er, it can be quite im­press­ive when sung by a trained choir.


Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

EASTER

Refrain

Hail thee, festival day!
Blessed day to be hallowed forever;
Day when our Lord was raised,
Breaking the kingdom of death.

Lo, the fair beauty of the earth,
From the death of the winter arising!
Every good gift of the year
Now with its Master returns.

Refrain

Rise from the grave now, O Lord,
The author of life and creation.
Treading the pathway of death,
New life You give to us all.


ASCENSION

Refrain

Hail thee, festival day!
Blessed day to be hallowed forever;
Day when our risen Lord
Rose in the heavens to reign.

He who was nailed to the cross
Is Ruler and Lord of all people.
All things created on earth
Sing to the glory of God.

Refrain

Daily the loveliness grows,
Adorned with glory of blossom;
Heaven her gates unbars,
Flinging her increase of light.

Refrain


PENTECOST

Refrain

Hail thee, festival day!
Blessed day to be hallowed forever;
Day when the Holy Ghost
Shone in the world full of grace.

Bright and in the likeness of fire,
On those who await your appearing,
You Whom the Lord had foretold
Suddenly, swiftly descend.

Refrain

Forth from the Father You come
With sevenfold mystical offering,
Pouring on all human souls
Infinite riches of God.

Refrain


ALL OCCASIONS

God the Almighty Lord,
The Ruler of earth and the heavens,
Guard us from harm without;
Cleanse us from evil within.

Jesus the health of the world,
Enlighten our minds, great Redeemer,
Son of the Father supreme,
Only begotten of God.

Spirit of life and of power,
Now flow in us, fount of our being,
Light that enlightens us all,
Life that in all may abide.

Praise to the giver of good!
O lover and author of concord,
Pour out your balm on our days;
Order our ways in your peace.

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