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Know Britain Traditional Christian Hymns
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BRING FLOWERS OF THE RAREST:
A TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN (CATHOLIC) MARIAN HYMN

 

This very popular anonymous Catholic hymn found in all hymnals of the Catholic Church is a hymn to Mary with a springtime flavour, often sung during the month of May, which is dedicated to her: "Queen of the May".

The spring theme comes out very clearly with its emphasis on flowers, blossoms, garden, and pastoral scenes such as "woodland", "hillside", "dale". As is becoming for the Mother of the Lord the flowers to be picked for her are to be of the "rarest" and "fairest" kind and to be sought from all over.

The spring theme is carried over to the minds and souls of those who gather the flowers. The dominant atmosphere is one of joy: "Our full hearts are swelling, our glad voices telling" and the last line, "Mary herself is the cause of our mirth". As the bowers are "radiant" with flowers so the souls of the gatherers are radiant with joy.

The heavenly beings in their veneration of Mary, whom all generations shall call blessed (Luke 1: 48), are also seen as a model for Christians: "grant that thy children on earth be as true".

In the hymn there is harmony between Mary and nature ("the loveliest flower of the vale"), man and nature and also between man and the heavenly beings: "The bright angels o'er us Re-echo the strains we begin upon earth; Their harps are repeating The notes of our greeting". The reason for this is that it is Mary, a human being like us, already Queen of the angels, in her exalted state anticipating our own, unites heaven and earth, man and the angels, man and nature.

 

Bring Flowers of the Fairest

 

A shortened version:

Bring flowers of the rarest,
Bring blossoms the fairest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

Their lady they name thee,
Their mistress proclaim thee,
Oh, grant that thy children on earth be as true
As long as the bowers
Are radiant with flowers
As long as the azure shall keep its bright hue.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

Sing gaily in chorus,
The bright angels o'er us
Re-echo the strains we begin upon earth;
Their harps are repeating
The notes of our greeting,
For Mary herself is the cause of our mirth.

 

Another version:

Bring flowers of the fairest,
Bring flowers of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our Glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh, thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh, thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life's journey would be.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mother, to win.
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As Pure as the lilies
We lay at thy feet.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May,

 


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latest update: 29/03/04