The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Hail Mary, Full of Grace!

A Hymn to Mary

Words: Marnie Barrell, revised 2001
Used with the kind permission of Ms. Barrell
Many other Marie Barrell hymns can be found at Oremus
Both links open a new window at

Music: Love Unknown by J. Ireland
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer
Meter: 12 12 88

1. Hail Mary, full of grace! All generations, bless
our highly-favoured sister in her holiness!
Rejoice with her, who first received
God's Word made human, and believed.

2. Heaven and earth stand still while Mary, wrapped in thought,
accepts the words of joy and dread the angel brought
to bear the Christ, and hold him dear
in costly love, in pain and fear.

3. Courage and strength were hers when, virgin and alone,
she freely chose the will of God and made it her own.
She laughed, and sang a woman's song:
God lifts the weak, puts down the strong.

4. Now may we seek the path that Mary's feet once trod,
sufficient in herself to bear the fullness of God -
for Christ will come where faith and love
receive him still, and make him room.

This hymn is reproduced here by the generous permission of the author, Marnie Barrell.  According to the author, you are welcome to use it, unaltered, and with proper acknowledgement.  If you wish to reproduce it further, please apply for permission by sending her an email.

Ms. Barrell is also the author of numerous other hymns. Steve Benner at Oremus has a great list. Her Christmas-tide hymns and carols on this site include:

Many of her Christmas hymns are published in the New Zealand hymnbook, Carol Our Christmas -- A Book of New Zealand Carols (The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust Inc,  PO Box 2011, Raumati Beach,  New Zealand,  1996; ISBN: 1869340582). Ms. Barrell states that it is published by the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, and also available through the Hymn Society of America. The book Carol Our Christmas is available at OC Books and New Zealand Books. Also available are Alleluia Aoteraoa: Hymns and Songs For All Churches and Faith Forever Singing, both of which contain additional hymns by Marnie Barrell.

Other hymns with the same title include:

Hail Mary, Full of Grace (Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols)

Hail Mary, Full of Grace (Terry, A Medieval Carol Book)

Hail Mary, Full Of Grace, Mother In Virginity (Rickert, with music from J. A. Fuller Maitland, English Carols of the Fifteenth Century)

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