Oh Happy Flowers

What with the first Communions this morning and the Wedding this afternoon, and it being May and all that, we seem to have done well with the flowers today. All credit to Hilda, our sacristan, who arranges flowers herself.

Looking at the altar, I am reminded of a hymn by Fr Faber that is routinely cited as an example of awful Victorian sentimentality. People quote the line "O happy Pyx, O happy Pyx! Where Jesus doth his dwelling fix." and we are all supposed to break into superior sniggers. Have a look at the whole thing, bearing in mind that this is intended for children and Faber puts a subheading "Imitated from St. Alphonso":
O happy Flowers! O happy Flowers!
How quietly for hours and hours,
In dead of night in cheerful day,
Close to my own dear Lord you stay,
Until you gently fade away.
O happy Flowers! what would I give
In your sweet place all day to live,
And then to die, my service o'er,
Softly as you do, at His door.

O happy Lights! O happy Lights!
Watching my Jesus livelong nights,
How close you cluster round His throne,
Dying so meekly one by one,
As each its faithful watch has done.
Could I with you but take my turn,
And burn with love of Him, and burn
Till love had wasted me, like you,
Sweet Lights! what better could I do?

O happy Pyx, O happy Pyx!
Where Jesus doth his dwelling fix.
O little palace! dear and bright,
Where He, who is the world's true light,
Spends all the day, and stays all night!
Ah! if my heart could only be
A little home for Him like thee,
Such fires my happy sould would move,
I could not help but die of love!

O Pyx and Lights and Flowers! but I
Through envy of you will not die;
Nay, happy things! what will you do,
Since I am better off than you,
The whole day long, the whole night through?
For Jesus gives himself to me,
So sweetly and so utterly,
By rights long since I should have died
For love of Jesus Crucified.

My happy Soul! My happy Soul!
How shall I then my love control?
O sweet Communion! Feast of bliss!
When the dear Host my tongue doth kiss,
What happiness is like to this?
Oh Heaven, I think must be alway
Quite like a First Communion Day,
With love so sweet and joy so strange, -
Only that Heaven will never change!
Call me a fuddy-duddy conservative if you like but I feel that somehow it has the edge on Estelle White and the St Louis Jesuits.

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