New Hymn Text for the Sacred Heart
  • The Sacred Heart of Jesus

    Life of God, poured out like water
    on the barren hearts of men:
    Flood divine, like flood of Noah,
    sent to purge the world of sin:
    I am drowned in Thee, but drowning
    board the Ark prepared for me:
    In Thy emptying, my fullness, --
    Empty, I am filled by Thee.

    Rock of Ages in the Desert,
    I have come to drink of Thee:
    though I strike Thee in my anger,
    Thou provid'st abundantly:
    with each wound the flow but deepens,
    with each sin, Thy mercy grows.
    Who can strike Thee and still hate Thee?
    For Thy friends, Thou tak'st Thy foes.

    Weak and foolish, I opposed Thee,
    weak and helpless Thou became:
    From Thy Heart fresh strength is flowing
    for weak souls who call Thy Name:
    Jesus, save me, for I perish,
    Jesus, spare this life of mine:
    Heart of Jesus, meek and humble,
    Make my heart like unto Thine.

    By Thy mercy, make me humble,
    Melt my heart with love unearned:
    Let me not forget Thy graces,
    freely giv'n and coldly spurned.
    Let me not despise my neighbour,
    though his sins to heaven cry:
    Louder cry my sins, now pardoned,
    "There but for God's grace go I!"

    Grace of God, O Love past telling,
    sweet refreshment, cleansing tide:
    Hope of hopeless, Love of loveless,
    Life of meekness, death of pride:
    Love of Father, Son, and Spirit,
    burning Fire, healing Flood:
    Hidden life in Him, Whose Heart still
    yearns to shed His Precious Blood.

    Were Thy Passion insufficient,
    For Thy Blood to save all men,
    Thou wouldst gladly die another,
    Thou wouldst shed Thy Blood again:
    Thou wouldst from ten thousand mangers
    go once more to heal and teach:
    Hang ten thousand heads in sorrow,
    not for all men, but for each.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • This is truly beautiful. Are we allowed to use it? To whom do we attribute this text?
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • I'd love if it got sung!

    You may give the text attribution to Sean Connolly (me), if you wish, but if you wish to use it uncredited, I'm fine with that, too.

    If you'd like to make an arrangement, go for it!

    I like my American hymn tunes: I had BEACH SPRING and PLEADING SAVIOUR in mind (In that order) when I was writing it. You may use whatever you like, however!
  • Beautiful! Thank you.

    I like it with PLEADING SAVIOUR very much; BEACH SPRING is also a good fit. There is something rooted-in-the-soil-strong about those tunes.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • RUSTINGTON is the tune that came immediately to my mind
    Thanked by 1Brian Michael Page
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    In the penultimate stanza, the sixth line "burning Fire, healing Flood:" seems to be missing a syllable (there should be seven, not six). One solution would be to allocate "Fire" to two syllables (although "Fi-re" may be deprecated by some). An alternate solution might be to insert "and" before "healing", making the line read "burning Fire, and healing Flood:" ... or does anyone have yet another workaround?
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • I can't think of the name of the tune, but we sing Daily, Daily sing to Mary to a tune which would clearly work for this. It might even have the added bonus of being immediately adopted because of being well-known.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    For me, it came to mind with a tune by Fr John Selner previously paired with one of Fr Faber's hymns: (PDF), (MP3).
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Patricia,

    Yes, I think that's what appeals to me about them. Pentatonicism just grabs me at my inmost being.

    Liam, Chris, chonak,

    Excellent suggestions all! Sing it, if you like, to any tune that fits!


    I noticed that after posting... my preference would be "and."

    Also, in the last stanza, replacing the "Thou wouldst" in lines 4 and 5 with, "Gladly" seems to have much to recommend it.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • This is so nicely done, you really need to add Creative Commons 3.0 to protect it from being stolen. Seriously.
  • I will compose something for it tomorrow. I’m utterly taken with this text.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • The second and last verses are especially stunning.
  • WOW, Mr. Giffen! Thank you for taking the time to set my text to your wonderful tune! How glorious!


    I think those to are my favorite verses, as well!


    Looking forward to seeing it!!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • Just sang it in my head to PLEADING SAVIOUR...but proceeded to fail with trying on other hymn tunes. That said, Griffen's is rather fitting, so with permission...I may like to use it a few times myself.
  • Granted, for my part!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    Feel free to use my setting!
  • NihilNominis, this is glorious work.
  • I've told Anna this about her work, and now I must tell you about yours as well. (And I know that you would never let it go to your head, so I can say it.) Your poetry is beyond praise and should find a place in Catholic hymnals. Have you given this some thought, or presented your work for consideration? The whole Church should profit spiritually from both your and Anna's gifts - and is poorer without them.
  • Thank you both for these very kind comments (from a while ago).

    Anna, I echo what was said about your poetry.
    Thanked by 1Anna_Bendiksen
  • I am a dunce at publication -- anyone who can help me with Mr. Osborn's kind suggestion would be most welcome.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    I don't know of any Catholic hymnals currently in the submissions stage, unless the Saint Michael Hymnal is in a stage when they could add a hymn or two. But I think they are farther along than that. Others might know for sure.

    The mainstream publishers in the US might not appreciate the use of words such as Thee and Thou; except for one instance I don't think that is essential for your rhyme, but it does seem to me to be an integral part of the excellent flavor of the piece.

    I'd suggest submitting it to CanticaNOVA as a first step. A number of CMAA folks have published with them, and they have an openness to rich poetry, mystical theology, and older styles of expression.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,302
    Perhaps someone could set all or part of the text as an anthem in a "high church Anglican" style. I bet that would be STUNNING.
  • Mr Giffen graced us above!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen irishtenor
  • GregoryWeber
    Posts: 42
    In the penultimate stanza, the sixth line "burning Fire, healing Flood:" seems to be missing a syllable (there should be seven, not six). One solution would be to allocate "Fire" to two syllables (although "Fi-re" may be deprecated by some).

    Superficially almost the same solution, but significantly different: Accepting the irregularity of the verse, without adding a syllable, one could sing "Fire" to two notes. Who would dare object to that?!

    [Edit:] Ah, but re-reading the above, I see that the author has accepted the revision "Fire, and", so never mind.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    The fix for the sixth line of the penultimate stanza which I suggested (and implemented in my setting) was to insert "and" between "Fire," and "healing" ... and it was approved by the author, thus: "burning Fire, and healing Flood:"
    Thanked by 1GregoryWeber
  • GregoryWeber
    Posts: 42
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • For some reason I'm hearing "Abbot's Leigh" with this very fine text.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis