Little White Guest
  • chcp
    Posts: 1
    I am looking for a Music Sheet for the above Song. Does anyone know where I can obtain one?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,609
    You're requesting this just for some sort of academic or scholarly reason, right?
  • I've read the words now three times, and must say that I have no idea what it's about.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    Nay, let us be thy guest, the feast is thine.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,801
    Would the copyright be violated if you changed it to Little Beige Guest?
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • The words "Little White Guest" make me think of Not Me from "Family Circus."
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,054
    From The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:

    Love. (III)

    LOve bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
    Guiltie of dust and sinne.
    But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
    From my first entrance in,
    Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
    If I lack’d any thing.

    A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
    Love said, You shall be he.
    I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah my deare,
    I cannot look on thee.
    Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
    Who made the eyes but I?

    Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
    Go where it doth deserve.
    And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
    My deare, then I will serve.
    You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
    So I did sit and eat.


  • Chrism
    Posts: 663
    Speaking of welcome...Welcome to the forum, chcp.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,144
    "Love Bade Me Welcome" is the central movement of Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Five Mystical Songs" (setting poems of George Herbert).

    A thoroughly British rendition from a Proms concert (also includes movements 4 & 5, "The Call" & "Antiphon"):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNMnGNL0-uw


    And a more intimate performance of the 3rd movement (piano accompaniment instead of orchestra):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_drFHEs9Uq8
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,463
    Look for the quotation of the antiphon "O Sacrum Convivium"!
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 217
    I am looking for a Music Sheet for the above Song. Does anyone know where I can obtain one?


    I want to applaud you for choosing this hymn. We used this in my home parish of St. Mary's in Akron, Ohio, until the church closed in 2010. You can hear a nice recording at The Devotional Hymns Project

    I wouldn't pay to much attention to some of the palavering going on here. It's a lovely hymn written for children and comes from a time when there was great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart. There are two different melodies for this hymn which I believe have already been posted. We used the following version also posted by Liam.


    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    Regarding "Guest"

    1. Jesus is not the guest at our banquet. Rather we are guests at His.
    2. Jesus is not the guest at our sacrifice. Rather he is the Priest, the Victim, the Altar. We are privileged to participate.
    3. Jesus is not a guest in our heart/soul/mind. Rather, he is --- or should be--- the Lord of our hearts. In Him we live, and move, and have our being.

    Regarding "Little"

    4. No.

    Regarding "White"

    5. There is really no way for this to not sound weird and racist. I'm sorry. That's just how it is.


    Children deserve better than this song.


    I quoted a line from a hymn above. Here's the context of the whole stanza.

    Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest;
    nay, let us be thy guests; the feast is thine;
    thyself at thine own board make manifest
    in thine own Sacrament of Bread and Wine.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,463
    FWIW we usually use "Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness" at First Communion.

    I've never understood why so much Victorian stuff still hangs around in 'traditional' circles; surely we can do better!
  • surely we can do better!


    You are right! But we don't.

    - - - -

    Regarding "Little"

    4. No.

    How large are the hosts at your parish?

    Regarding "White"

    5. There is really no way for this to not sound weird and racist. I'm sorry. That's just how it is.

    What is the color of the hosts at your parish?

    What is the weakness in teaching a child that the small, white host is Jesus?

    The nuns who came up with many of these hymns were highly educated, second only to priests in a Parish for level of education and theology. And they were trained to relate to children.


    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,609
    One can do better easily.

    Educators can teach children about the Real Presence without banal songs.

    Musicians can teach children any number of wonderful texts about the Eucharist.

    I'm sure the people who wrote this song and introduced it before were of the best of intentions and were doing their best. Now, let's do our best.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • You are right! But we don't. SO why are't people doing this if it is so easy? Compose an example, both music and text and post it.

    The music then was not banal and the text was very beautiful.

    Name one useful hymn/song composed in the last 5 years that would be perfect for children's first communion that is readily available, that the majority of readers here would recommend. Text and music both of highest quality for children at their level of understanding.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,609
    Why does it have to be something composed in the last 5 years?

    Our First Communion Mass is celebrated at the same Mass as the Conferral of Confirmation. Last year we used the Ritual Mass for the Conferral of Confirmation, sang English propers for the Ritual Mass (composed in the last 5 years), ended Communion with Soul of My Savior (ANIMA CHRISTI), and then sang Holy God We Praise Thy Name as the final hymn.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    What does something have to be newer and better to replace something older and not good. Why not something only a little less old? Or something a lot older?

    The fact that I personally haven't written any great new communion songs for children doesn't mean there aren't, in fact, a lot of better communion songs for children --- written both before and after this one.

    The fact that some people don't pick out better things doesn't have anything to do with whether this song is any good.

    "Is this shirt ugly?"
    "It's okay. The shirt you wore yesterday is way uglier."
    "I have some other shirts that might be better."
    "No. Don't worry about. I can totally imagine a shirt uglier than the one you are wearing right now. So it's cool."
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • rogue63
    Posts: 405
    From the People's Book for the Divine Liturgy, Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, 2006:

    "Accept me today as a partaker of your mystical supper, O Son of God, for I will not reveal your mystery to your enemies, nor will I give you a kiss as did Judas; but like the thief, I profess you: remember me, O Lord, when you come in your kingdom."

    http://metropolitancantorinstitute.org/servicebooks/DivineLiturgiesAdditionalMaterial.pdf

    File page: 29
    document page: 460

    Hymn #9

    This is an excellent example to answer Noel's question.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 217
    What is wrong with any child or adult saying "I love you, I love you my Jesus" ?

    "You have come into my heart dearest Jesus, I'm holding you close to my breast" How often I wonder did our Blessed Mother hold Jesus close to her breast? Shouldn't we all be saying this with tenderness and love for Jesus, especially when we receive Him at communion?

    Jesus want's to know that we love Him, he likes to be told, "so I'll whisper I love you and ask that we may never part. I love you O kind loving Jesus and press you still nearer my heart"

    And when we meet Jesus in Heaven, will we not want to lean our soul on his breast? Will we not rest in Him? Do we not see great paintings depicting the disciple John leaning on the breast of Jesus during the last supper? When they took Jesus down from the cross didn't our Blessed Mother hold him close to her breast?

    There is so much love and beautiful imagery through out the entire hymn that a child can easily understand, why are some of you blinded by the title? Why is it as adults some of you have such difficulties? Why or how could anyone who loves Jesus and when you receive communion, when He comes into your heart and you say "I love you, I love you my Jesus" be opposed to this hymn?

    Maybe it's because you forgot how to say 'I love you Jesus, come into my heart, be my guest today and every day, and when we meet in heaven, you will recall our fond meetings, when you were my little white guest." I suggest a meditation of Matthew 18:2-4.






  • This is an excellent example to answer Noel's question.
    Thanks, Rogue, for responding to this discussion.

    #9 won't open and I am not sure how the link to the Divine Liturgy fits in as a hymn for small children at First Communion, but I 'd like to know more. Feel like explaining?
  • Soul of My Savior (ANIMA CHRISTI)
    An excellent choice. Thanks for sharing this. Of all the music you did, this is one that may stick with the children for the rest of their lives, it was very insightful for you to choose this hymn that many others might trash. I even think that it uses the "guest" word!
    Thanked by 1Chrism
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 120
    Here's another melody for Little White Guest; this one is by Sister Myra, C.S.J. Note that two additional verses are included.

    Soul of My Savior is, of course, an excellent hymn. However, did you ever trying explaining its words to a seven-year-old boy or girl preparing to receive his/her First Communion? Some years ago a nun told me she did try; as it turned out for her, the task was well-nigh impossible and she abandoned the idea. I guess all hymns have their place.



    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,609
    What is wrong with any child or adult saying "I love you, I love you my Jesus" ?


    There's nothing wrong with that, and I hope we all say something like that to our Lord every day. That doesn't mean we should sing this song or encourage people to use this for First Communion Masses. The same arguments you just made in favor of this hymn could be used to argue in favor of any of the P&W hits that talk about loving Jesus.

    A child can understand the text of Soul of My Savior and plenty of other good Eucharistic texts. They can also understand scripture, such as the propers of the Mass. Children can understand a lot more than we often give them credit for. In order to receive Holy Communion (and Confirmation if they are celebrated at the same time), they should be properly catechized and show both devotion to our Lord and knowledge of what is going on at Mass and in the Sacraments.

    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Has anyone noticed, (again besides me,) that lately the Forum ought to be called:
    CSI- Liturgicam Autopsium?
    Just saying.
  • A child can understand the text of Soul of My Savior and plenty of other good Eucharistic texts.


    That statement should be accompanied by an explanation of your own age, contact with children of what age and so on...if you, like Angela Manney are around children every day of a young age your argument would carry a lot of weight - if you observe them from afar, it's a different story. in fact, I am going to ask Angela her opinion and post it!
  • CHCP is probably rolling his/her chair back from the computer with the Twilight Zone theme in his head.
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  • rogue63
    Posts: 405
    I have 4 children, ages 7, 5, 2, and 6 months. It's a shame the Roman church effectively excommunicates children until they can "understand" transsubstantiation. None of us truly "understand" it. It is a great mystery and gift from the Lord, freely given to all who love Him.


    Furthermore, "Accept me today" is a communion prayer from the Divine Liturgy, and well within reach of children. Why the insistence on understanding? None of us understand.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,609
    I'm in my thirties. I work for a parish with a school of 500-600 students. I have a Children's Choir (approximately 30-40 students, 3-8th grade, auditioned). When we sing hymns and we get to a phrase that I think might be problematic, I will often stop and ask them what they think it means. It often shocks me how close they are to the meaning - and the first volunteers for answering are usually in the 3rd or 4th grades.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,405
    Oh, the children understand. It's the adults that don't.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Matthew is spot on here.

    We really need to stop insulting children's intelligence by making things overly simplistic. I would wager to say that the reason many adults today don't have a strong faith is due to the dumbing down effect in their own lives.

    When we set a high bar for children, it not only elevates them, but also teaches them to strive for things even higher.

    Also, as Adam points out, the theological notion of the little guest is rather odd, at best.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,847
    I think the term "little" is less than ideal. Our great God and Savior the Lord Jesus Christ is not really little (as such) in the Eucharist. He is there what He is anywhere now: the crucified and resurrected Lord of the Universe. He offers himself in the form of something little, and that is a fair point for a song to make, but I'm not sure that addressing Him as "little" is quite the best way to do that. It gives the impression that the Eucharist is especially connected with the Nativity, more than with the Paschal mystery.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    words versus "Logos!"
    My theory of relativity.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • rogue63
    Posts: 405
    And to be fair, "little" is an adverbial modifier, and the noun "guest" should have an adjectival modifier like "small" or "petite".
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,054
    I'm pretty sure little is used adjectivally. Little girl, little bit.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,847
    Oh, dear: if "little" in "Little White Guest" had been intended to be meant adverbially, it would be modifying "white", so that the song would be about our Lord present under the species of, say, a whole-wheat communion wafer. That probably didn't exist at the time.
  • Reval
    Posts: 150
    When my oldest child was going to have First Communion, I was looking for special holy cards, etc. that would commemorate that. In the Catholic gift stores I frequent, they either have stuff that is 1970s-looking, or retro-1940s style. I personally prefer the 1940s style, and I recall that they had "Little white guest" holy card with that poem on the back. I personally think that the words are meant to reinforce the idea that this looks like a little white round thing, it's really Jesus. I was a pretty new Catholic at the time, and I thought, "oh, this is a standard thing that all Catholics know from First Communion".
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    What a shame that Vatican 2 took away treasures like this!

    (Unfortunately, I have to clarify that this is sarcasm.)
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood matthewj
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,082

    What a shame that Vatican 2 took away treasures like this!


    Isn't it? I must admit that I have to be the only person here who has never heard this "hymn." How did I miss that one? LOL.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,847
    I'll be happy to remedy that, with the help of a recording commissioned by our colleague 'oldhymns':

    mp3: Little White Guest

    for the website "Catholic Devotional Hymns", which I maintain for him.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,082
    That's pretty awful. It must have been the Eagle's Wings of its day.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,609
    I don't think Eagles' Wings is the appropriate comparison, since it is paraphrased scripture.

    Nor do I think the Butterfly Song, which was the "in" First Communion song in my Canadian diocese before I left (running and screaming) for the USA. The imagery contained in the Butterfly Song, while odd, doesn't have the (genuine) piety of Little White Guest.

    I'm not sure what modern piece would be best to compare this with.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,082
    I need to get out more. I haven't heard the Butterfly Song, either.
  • Anethema sit!

    Good dog.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,405
    @matthewj: I've bee a Canadian RC all my life and have taught in an elementary school and have never heard of the Butterfly Song.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,609
    I'm sure it was a more local thing in my home-diocese and not very wide spread... it was a ridiculously silly song that said nothing about the Real Presence...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imO2NiKo_AQ
    Thanked by 2canadash Gavin
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    And yeay, I thank Thee, Father, whom makethed me, me! O, O, O.
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 270
    That's pretty awful. It must have been the Eagle's Wings of its day.


    Eagle's Wings is Ave Verum Corpus by comparison.
    Thanked by 2Liam Gavin
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,054
    Mozart's, maybe. Hardly Byrd's.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Liam