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CNP Feedback - God Bless Our Pope

The "Feedback Box" on the CanticaNOVA Publications website has proven quite effective in promoting communications on a variety of subjects, and expressing concerns of liturgists and musicians. From time to time, we'll compile a few of these questions or comments and put them in public view, with the hope that others with similar concerns may benefit from their content.

Q. Dear CNP:

A Google search for the words to the old hymn, "God Bless Our Pope," led me directly to your site, but I cannot find any reference to that hymn or a source for it. Could you perhaps send me the words, or refer me to an online source where I might find them? Many thanks!

Honoring the Pope

A. Dear Honoring:

The hymn title, "God Bless Our Pope," turns up on the CNP Liturgical Planning Page for the Feast of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. This hymn text was written by Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman (1802-1865), the first Archbishop of Westminster who formerly had been Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome. The hymn is found in The Catholic Hymn Book, a conservative hymnal compiled by the Brompton Oratory (London) and published by Gracewing. This is one of our recommended hymnals, from which we make suggestions for hymns to use at liturgies. In this British hymnal, the poem by Cardinal Wiseman is paired with a tune called Wiseman with a meter: with refrain (or 88.88.88)

As the hymn was written in the 19th century, I'm breaking no copyrights by including the text here:

God Bless Our Pope

  Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman (1802-1865)
  1. Full in the panting heart of Rome,
    Beneath th'apostle's crowning dome,
    From pilgrims' lips that kiss the ground,
    Breathes in all tongues only one sound:
    'God bless our Pope, God bless our Pope,
    God bless our Pope, the great, the good.'
  1. The golden roof, the marble walls,
    The Vatican's majestic halls,
    The note redouble, till it fills
    With echoes sweet the seven hills:
  2. Then surging through each hallowed gate,
    Where martyrs glory, in peace, await,
    It sweeps beyond the solemn plain,
    Peals over Alps, across the main:
  3. From torrid south to frozen north,
    That wave harmonious stretches forth,
    Yet strikes no chord more true to Rome's,
    Than rings within our hearts and homes:
The tune Wiseman is not familiar in the U.S. so one might substitute another tune with the same meter. Possibilities:
  • Angel's Song ("O God in Heaven")
  • Beati ("The Saints of God, Their Conflict Past")
  • Carey ("I Praised the Earth, in Beauty Seen")
  • Das neugeborne Kindelein ("O Quickly Come, Great Judge of All")
  • David's Harp ("Lord of All Majesty and Might")
  • Jervaulx Abbey ("The Saints of God, Their Conflict Past")
  • Melita ("Eternal Father, Strong to Save")
  • Neumark, alt. ("O Love, Who Drew from Jesus' Side")
  • Old Hundred-Twelfth ("God of the Living, in Whose Eyes")
  • Racine ("Lord God of Hosts, Whose Mighty Hand")
  • Saint Catherine ("Faith of Our Fathers")
  • Saint Chrysostum ("Jesus, My Lord")
  • Saint Matthias ("O Saviour, Bless Us E're We Go")
  • Saint Petersburg ("Come, Let Us with Our Lord Arise")
  • Stella ("Hail, Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star")
  • Sussex Carol ("On Christmas Night All Christians Sing")
  • Veni Emmanuel ("O Come, O Come, Emmanuel")
  • Winkworth ("O Lord, to Whom the Spirits Live")
I hope you find this information useful!

Gary Penkala
CanticaNOVA Publications

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