Sunday, October 01, 2006

Thus conspire we to adore him

Friday was Michaelmas day. At the sung mass we had a number of wonderful angelic hymns, lots of my favourites.

Among them was NEH 343, Bright the Vision that Delighted.

This hymn is by Richard Mant (or at least it once was). The NEH hasn't put a dagger on it, but it's not as it should be.

The problem is in verse 5. Here's what it should say:

With his seraph train before him,
With his holy Church below,
Thus conspire we to adore him,
Bid we thus our anthem flow:
It is interesting that the vicar preached that evening about 'conspiracy' and the meaning of the word 'conspire' (along with some other words about doing things together). He pointed out that to conspire is to breathe together and to be inspired together, and that we can be in a holy conspiracy in this sense.

It's almost as if he was preaching about the words we'd just sung in this hymn. Only, funnily enough we hadn't just sung them (except those of us who insist on singing the right words regardless of what's written in the hymn book).

No, funnily enough we'd sung this trite and awkward drivel:

With his seraph train before him,
With his holy Church below,
Thus unite we to adore him,
Bid we thus our anthem flow:
Too bad. Don't you think?

Post a Comment