Hymns for the Conversion of St. Paul
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    For the upcoming feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, anyone may please feel free to use one or both of the following hymns. The first is originally mine, the second is my translation of the office hymn Excelsam Pauli Gloriam. They can be sung to many Long Meter (LM, or 8888) hymn tunes, such as Eisenach or Jesu Dulcis Memoria.

    The martyr Stephen met his death
    Forgiveness in his final breath.
    He interceded for them all
    Whose cloaks lay at the feet of Saul.

    The Father, hearing Stephen's prayer,
    Gave gifts for all the Church to share
    When grace and mercy overflowed
    In light upon Damascus Road.

    Then bless the Lord of heart and mind
    Who gives new vision to the blind,
    Whose reign throughout the world extends,
    Whose loving-kindness never ends.

    © 2008 Kathleen Pluth. Permission is given for parish use January 24-25, 2009. All other rights reserved.


    Let all the Church acclaim St. Paul
    And sing the glories of his call
    The Lord made an apostle be
    From one who was his enemy

    The name of Christ set Paul afire
    Enkindling him with great desire;
    And higher these same blazes reached
    When of the love of Christ he preached.

    His merits are forever praised
    For to the heavens he was raised,
    And there, the all-mysterious word,
    That none dare speak, by Paul was heard.

    The Word, like seed sown in a field
    Producing an abundant yield
    Fills heav’nly barns whose stores of grain
    Are tilled and grown on earthly plains.

    The shining of the lamplight gleams
    And drenches earth with heaven's beams.
    The dark of error's night is past;
    The reign of truth has come at last.

    To Christ all glory, and all praise
    To Father and the Spirit raise,
    Who for the nations’ saving call
    Gave us the splendor of Saint Paul.

    Translation © 2008 Kathleen Pluth. Permission is given for parish use January 24-25, 2009. All other rights reserved.
    Thanked by 1Nisi
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    That second hymn would be great with the tune DEUS TUORUM MILITUM, and appropriate since the name is taken from the hymn for martyrs.
  • ThurlowThurlow
    Posts: 20
    Very nicely written! I would like to offer this hymn-tune & harmonisation, which I wrote with this text in mind. The tune may be used with any LM (Long Meter) text, of course. This tune & harmonisation is offered for free use.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    Thurlow, I'm highly honored!

    Gavin, this seems to me to be a very good match, because of the mysterious themes in the text Excelsam... of vocation, election, prayer, etc. The text needs the dramatic texture of Deus...

    Thanks very much to both of you.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    (bumping for the feast)
  • Martyr's and apostles have different hymn tunes, I do not think it is appropriate to mix them together.

    Apostles are the greatest class of all, without them the martyrs, confessors, holy women and virgins would not exist.
    The Roman Antiphonary hymn melody as used in "Exsultet cælum laudibus" (common of apostles) would be more appropriate than Deus Tuórum militum.

    I'm actually not familiar with the hynm "Excelsam Pauli Gloriam"
    can anyone tell me which region of medieval europe sang this?
    I have a clue it is anglo-saxon but I dont know. For all I know it could be one of the 1980's compositions of Lord Anselmo Lentini.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181

    The Liber Hymnarius attributes the text to St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Bumping this.

    Kathy, I'm considering using the second hymn for an upcoming Evensong service. I noticed the copyright was specified for use in 2009. I'm sure you wouldn't object to its use, but I wanted to check if you would give permission for its use in 2015?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    Sure, no problem. Thanks for asking, Gavin!
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • mahrt
    Posts: 512
    Note, however, that since January 25 occurs on a Sunday, the liturgy is of the Sunday, not of St. Paul
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    Except in Rome:
    Celebrazione dei Secondi Vespri (25 gennaio 2015)
    Solennità della Conversione di San Paolo Apostolo
    Basilica di San Paolo Fuori le Mura
    ore 17.30
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,595
    I would have expected such since St. Paul is the titular Saint of the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, which celebration, IIRC, ranks above a Sunday in Ordinary Time anyway.
  • PhatFlute
    Posts: 219
    No A- men ? :)
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,027
    ...Or if you parish patron is St. Paul.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • @Kathy, I used your hymn for the conversion of St. Paul today and matched it with TRURO. We sang it as the Processional Hymn for our weekly school mass. Thank you very much.

    Offertory was "The King of Love my Shepherd Is"
    Communion was the antiphon plus "Adoro Te Devote"
    Recessional was "For All the Saints"

    and we used the "Mass of Wisdom."

    Altogether a nice mass considering we use Breaking Bread missalettes ;-).

    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,181
    Thank you very much for mentioning this, Andrew! I love "infiltrating" Catholic schools. I'm delighted all went well. Best wishes with your program!
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,027
    By the way, I have this set to DEUS TUORUM MILITUM if anyone wants it. I also, in a fit of industriousness, engraved it as SATB. If anyone wants either/both version(s), just PM me.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 275
    Don’t forget, also, the brilliant “We sing the glorious conquest”.

    1 We sing the glorious conquest
    before Damascus gate,
    when Saul, the church's spoiler,
    came breathing threats and hate;
    the rav'ning wolf rushed forward
    full early to the prey;
    but lo! the Shepherd met him,
    and bound him fast today.

    2 O glory most excelling
    that smote across his path!
    O light that pierced and blinded
    the zealot in his wrath!
    O voice that spake unto him
    the calm, reproving word!
    O love that sought and held him
    the bondman of his Lord!

    3 O Wisdom ord'ring all things
    in order strong and sweet,
    what nobler spoil was ever
    cast at the victor's feet?
    What wiser master-builder
    e'er wrought at your employ
    than he, till now so furious
    your building to destroy?

    4 Lord, teach your church the lesson,
    still in her darkest hour
    of weakness and of danger,
    to trust your hidden pow'r:
    your grace by ways mysterious
    the wrath of man can bind,
    and in your boldest foeman
    your chosen saint can find.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen