The Walsingham Pilgrim Hymn

Listen to the Hymn

WS Logo White BG copyAmazingly I can find this documented nowhere else on the web, so I will put it up here. On Sunday the parish will somehow record it, and I can then burn it to CD so that when the various cars on Pilgrimage hit the Fakenham Roundabout they can all join in. When you’re on a bus, you don’t need this, but for us in separate cars this helps make the pilgrimage experience.

Tune: LOURDES (Catholic Hymns Old & New 256)

All glory to God in his mercy and grace Who hath established His Home in this wonderful place.

Ave Ave Ave Maria! Ave Ave Ave Maria!

All glory to Jesus our Saviour and Lord Whose image within us by grace is restored.

All glory to God in his Spirit Divine. Who hath fixed His abode in this poor soul of mine.

Sing the praises of Mary, the Mother of God, Whose “Walsingham Way” countless pilgrims have trod.

Then lift high your voices, rehearse the glad tale Of Our Lady’s appearing in Stiffkey’s fair vale.

When Edward Confessor ruled over the land The Faverches’ Manor stood here nigh at hand.

The Lady Richeldis devoted her care To good works and penance and worship and prayer.

One day as she prayed and looked up to the skies, A vision of splendour delighted her eyes.

Our Lady, God’s Mother, in glory arrayed, Held a House in her arms which was clearly displayed.

“Take note, my dear daughter, and build here a Shrine As Nazareth’s home in this country of thine.”

“And the spot that I choose where the house shall arise By a sign shall be plainly revealed to your eyes.”

The vision passed slowly away from her sight, But her mind held the House in its length, breadth and height.

Bewildered she pondered this message so sweet, When a clear spring of water burst forth at her feet.

Bewildered no longer for this was the sign, She vowed on this spot she would build such a shrine.

The finest materials her workmen could find She employed for this House she had fixed in her mind

But though she had given both timbers and lands, The power of the work lay in Mary’s own hands.

And this was made clear when the work was complete By the answers to prayers poured out at her feet.

And soon mighty wonders by grace were revealed, For the sick who made use of the waters were healed.

So Walsingham then came a place of great fame And Our Lady herself was called by this name.

And many a pilgrim to the day of his death Took the road once a year to “England’s Nazareth.”

So crowded were roads that the stars, people say, That shine in the heavens were called “Walsingham Way.”

And many the favours and graces bestowed On those who in faith took the pilgrimage road.

The Image of Mary with her Holy Son Was honoured and feted by everyone.

The Canons and Friars built houses around And the praises of God were a regular sound.

And Kings, Lords and commons their homage would pay And the burning tapers turned night into day.

But at last came a King who had greed in his eyes And he lusted for treasure with fraud and with lies.

The order went forth; and with horror ’twas learned That the Shrine was destroyed and the Image was burned.

And here where God’s Mother had once been enthroned The souls that stayed faithful ‘neath tyranny groaned.

And this realm which had once been Our Lady’s own Dower Had its Church now enslaved by the secular power.

And so dark night fell on this glorious place Where of all former glories there hardly was trace.

Yet a thin stream of pilgrims still walked the old way And hearts longed to see this night turned into day.

Till at last, when full measure of penance was poured, In her Shrine see the honour of Mary restored:

Again ‘neath her Image the tapers shine fair, In her children’s endeavours past wrongs to repair.

Again in her House her due honour is taught: Her name is invoked, her fair graces besought:

And the sick and the maimed seek the pilgrimage way, And miraculous healing their bodies display.

Oh Mother, give heed to the prayer of our heart, That your glory from here never more may depart.

Now to God the All-Father and Son, with due praise, And life-giving Spirit, thanksgiving we raise.

Ave Ave Ave Maria! Ave Ave Ave Maria!

Source: Sir William Milner (reproduced from the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham Pilgrim Manual) after whom the Milner Wing was named