Monday, August 7


A Challenge......

........To all the choir directors out there:

Combine this tune/arrangement:
Ellacombe, arr. James Biery available in octavo form from Morningstar......

with this text:

Long live the Pope!
His praises sound
Again and yet again:
His rule is over space and time:
His throne the heart of men:
All hail! The Shepherd Pope of Rome,
The theme of loving song:
Let all the earth his glory sing
And heav’n the strain prolong.

By the foes of earth,
Beset by hosts of hell,
He guards the loyal flock of Christ,
A watchful sentinel:
And yet, amid the din and strife,
The clash of mace and sword,
He bears alone the Shepherd Staff,
The champion of the Lord.

His signet is the Fisherman's;
No sceptre does he bear;
In meek and lowly majesty
He rules from Peter's Chair:
And yet from every tribe and tongue,
From every clime and zone,
One billion loyal voices sing,
The glory of his throne.

Then raise the chant,
With heart and voice,
In Church & school & home:
"Long live the Shepherd of the Flock!
Long live the Pope of Rome!"
Almighty Father bless his work,
Protect him in his ways,
Receive his prayer, fulfill his hopes,
And grant him length of days!
(text by Msgr. Hugh Henry, slightly modified)

The meter and everything works perfectly - this tune is a great way of getting across this text. If you are able to pull this off (this includes the brass ensemble, tympani, etc.) let me know and I will make it known. This effort will serve a twofold purpose: to rescue this hymn from its unsingable old tune using the "spoils of Egypt" of Protestant hymnody, plus it'll get us ready for a festival choir to perform this at the next Papal visit to the US.....

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