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A bespoke commemorative hymn verse


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Last week I attended the Festival of St Cecilia Service at Westminster Abbey in aid of the Musician's Benevolent Fund. The final hymn was "Ye watchers and ye holy ones". I was very much moved by an extra verse that they have added (as verse 4) (written by the Rev Graeme Napier) -

"Thou monarch blest of great renown,
thou who dost wear the victor's crown;
Alleluia, Alleluia.
O great Confessor, sainted king,
O holy Edward with us sing,


On leaving I asked the Dean about this, and he kindly explained that it had been written for a special occasion, but now they were inclined to use it more often to commemorate the Abbey's Saint.


I wonder if there are many other special verses have been composed for similar reasons e.g. for use at Canterbury, St Albans, St Davids?

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St. Martin's, Belfast commissioned a patronal hymn a few years back. I can't remember the author, but he was a prolific hymn-writer. The instigator was the then parish organist John Crothers, a great hymn enthusiast, who now lives in Paris.


St. Leonard-at-the-Hythe, Colchester had a patronal hymn, "Blessed Leonard, Saint, confessor" written by the then Rector, Fr. Raymond Smith. He recycled it in his next parish by changing the name of the saint! His successor, Fr. James Hale, wrote a tune. It was not bad, although a little grammatically wanting, but people preferred the tune of "Who are these like stars appearing".

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