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,