Having found a lovely little pile of small green hymn books, apparently dating from the 1930s, in a cupboard at S Thomas's, I'm busily working out how to incorporate its contents into the Sunday hymn pattern. Perhaps May is the time to start. 936 begins 'The happy birds Te Deum sing,/'tis Mary's month of May./Her smile turns winter into spring,/ And darkness into day.' (Does anyone know who wrote it?) It will go nicely to the tune of 'O little town of Bethlehem'.Then there's 928, 'O Mother! will it always be,/That every passing year,/ Shall make thee seem more beautiful,/ Shall make thee seem more dear'. That, of course - no prizes - just has to be by the greatest of the Romantic poets, Fr Faber. It will go to the tune of 'It came upon the midnight clear'.
A lot of the hymns can be identified from the Westminster Hymnal (does any church still use that?), but I'd be glad for the key, if anyone can provide it, to the authors of the rest. The only unhappy gap in it seems to be its lack of Cardinal Wiseman's 'Full in the panting heart of Rome'. Perhaps the advocates of a non-papal Catholicism could do an Anglicanised version celebrating their own infallible magisterial Organ: 'Full in the panting Synod halls /Within Church House's peeling walls/From pilgrims lips that kiss the ground/Breathes in all tongues one only sound/ God bless our Synod, great and good.' or something like that.