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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

For God and St Patrick

Yesterday we celebrated the feast of St Patrick with two Masses in the parish. My sacristan, Hilda, arranged a devotional display of our statue of St Patrick with some shamrock, candles and harps, together with a nice green cloth. After both Masses, we sang the hymn Hail Glorious St Patrick. Fr Guy Selvester posted the Wolfe Tones version which gives one interpretation. Another is that given by Frank Patterson which I have embedded below:



Neither version includes all the verses that we sang so here are the words. 43 years ago, Mrs Strawson taught us this hymn in infant school. She said that after each verse you had to reprise the last line, not "On Erin's green valleys" for each verse. So kudos to Frank Patterson for following this tradition.
Hail, glorious Saint Patrick, dear Saint of our isle!
On us thy poor children, bestow a sweet smile;
And now thou art high in the mansions above,
On Erin's green valleys look down in thy love.

Hail, glorious Saint Patrick, thy words were once strong
Against Satan's wiles and an infidel throng;
Not less in thy might now in heaven thou art
Oh, come to our aid, in our battle take part.

In the war against sin, in the fight for the faith,
Dear Saint, may thy children resist unto death;
May their strength be in meekness, in penance, and prayer,
Their banner the Cross, which they glory to bear.

Thy people, now exiles on many a shore,
Shall love and revere thee till time be no more:
And the fire thou hast kindled shall ever burn bright
Its warmth undiminished, undying its light.

Ever bless and defend the sweet land of our birth,
Where the shamrock still blooms as when thou went on earth,
And our hearts shall yet burn, wheresoever we roam,
For God and Saint Patrick and our native home.
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