Hymnody: Ebenezer (Ton-y-botel)
  • Allene
    Posts: 1
    I am now old, just shy of 80, retired and getting used to a new Jiffy Hip, and I am also isolated musically--and Church-musically! Still, there are a few things that I think should be shared. I'll try one now, having found this website today:

    It has been said or written that John Henry Newman wasn't crazy about any of the hymn tunes he heard used with his hymns. For about ten years, I used--successfully in a small RC parish in the North--JHN's Firmly I believe and truly set to Ebenezer (Ton-y-botel), tune #519 in the 1940. To fill out the final (3rd) stanza, add (after "Adoration aye be given...") Sanctus fortis, Sanctus Deus, De profundis oro te; Miserere, Judex meus, Parce mihi, Domine.

    That Latin is the beginning AND ending of this hymn in The Dream of Gerontius, so it's totally fitting. There's a slight difference in the lines used for the hymn and for the poem. If you want to check the text with me, please write back.
    I would be delighted to know if anyone tries this; it truly is lovely, and I very much miss hearing it sung. Decades ago, I ran this by a musically knowledgeable priest, and he said that he thought it was the best tune for the text that he had heard!--Allene
  • I used to sing this muscular tune to the words "Once to ev'ry man and nation comes the moment to decide". Never tried it with Newman's text. Thank you for the thought.
  • Welcome, Allene, to our forum.
    Do come back!

    I would never have thought of singing Newman's text to Ebeneezer, though having tried it out at your suggestion it does work quite nicely. Not as nicely, though, as Nashotah House, to which we are wont to sing it in the Ordinariate. It would be difficult, very difficult, to top this.

    I, like Chris, have experienced Ebeneezer wedded to 'Once to Ev'ry Man and Nation', which wasn't a very nice thing to do to a perfectly fine tune. I'm so glad that you have redeemed it with your experience of it with Newman's verse.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225
    Here's Nashotah House sung at 2013 commencement....in St Jerome's Catholic church