Song Lyric Sunday: The Daughters Of Mary, “O Sacred Head, Surrounded”

Jim took today’s prompt from Angie of King Ben’s Grandma, "illness, injury, scars." I’ve chosen an old hymn that we used to sing on Good Friday, "O Sacred Head, Surrounded." A woman named Ana Maria Ribiero-Althoff left the following comment on the video:

This melody was composed by Hans Leo Hassler (a Lutheran musician) for a love song and years later it was used with the religious text written in German by the Lutheran poet Paul Gerhardt (who adapted an verse from a medieval Latin hymn of the abbot Bernard de Clairvaux). Years later this melody has been harmonized by J. S. Bach for his “St. Matthew Passion”. Fortunately, this beautiful melody is used in the liturgy of different Christian churches! Soli Deo gloria!

I don’t know much about the Daughters of Mary. Clearly they’re a Catholic religious order (though they might be Anglican, who sometimes do Catholicism better than we Catholics). Apart from that, I don’t know much else about them.

O sacred Head surrounded
By crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding Head, so wounded,
Reviled and put to scorn!
Death’s pallid hue comes o’er you,
The glow of life decays,
Yet angel hosts adore Thee
And tremble as they gaze.

I see Thy strength and vigor
All fading in the strife,
And death with cruel rigor,
Bereaving Thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn Thy face on me.

In this, Thy bitter passion,
Good Shepherd, think of me
With Thy most sweet compassion,
Unworthy though I be:
Beneath Thy cross abiding
For ever would I rest,
In Thy dear love confiding,
And with Thy presence blest.


And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for July 31, 2022.

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