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O Mother Mary of the Cross (Charles H. Giffen)

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Plainchant original setting
  • CPDL #26825: 
Editor: Charles H. Giffen (submitted 2012-07-24).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 91 kB   Copyright: CPDL. Copyright by the composer for CPDL. May be freely copied, distributed, performed, or recorded. Please inform the composer of any performances of this work.
Edition notes: Plainchant original composition, 4-line staves and neumes notation. Revised PDF uploaded 2013-07-23, reflecting a change in the wording of the second stanza.
Four-part hymn with descant
  • CPDL #26824: 
Editor: Charles H. Giffen (submitted 2012-07-24).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 75 kB   Copyright: Personal. Copyright by the composer for CPDL. May be freely copied, distributed, performed, or recorded. Please inform the composer of any performances of this work.
Edition notes: Four-part harmonization with descant. The sound file presents the descant in the third stanza and the fourth stanza presents the alternate harmonization with descant. Revised PDF and MP3 uploaded 2013-07-22, reflecting some changes in the descants and a change in the wording of the second stanza.

General Information

Title: O Mother Mary of the Cross
Composer: Charles H. Giffen
Lyricist: Veronica Brandt

Number of voices: 1 or 4vv   Voicings: Unison or SATB with Descant
Genre: SacredChantHymn   Hymn tune: MacKillop   Meter: 88. 88 (L.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella (plainchant) or organ (harmonized)

Published: 2012

Description: This hymn with text by Veronica Brandt was composed in honor of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia's first saint, whose feast day is August 8. The music was first composed as a plainchant melody in Gregorian chant tradition, and the harmonized L.M. hymn tune MacKillop was composed from a simplification of the plainchant. There are two versions of the descant, one fitting the initial harmonization and a second fitting a somewhat altered harmonization for the final stanza.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

O Mother Mary of the Cross
The first Australian saint, we hail.
Thy work to lead the poor to truth
Awaking mercy in thy trail.

Thou ever soughtest Joseph's aid
Strong in the faith that he would be
An advocate to that dear Heart
That bled and died upon the Tree.

The Tree of life, the Cross of death
To which thy name and life were bound,
The paradox that pain and strife
To everlasting joy redound.

O Mary! intercede for us
And form us to His holy Will
With Father and the Holy Ghost
And Heart of Jesus burning still.

Veronica Brandt (1979-)