The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

For Christmas

Words and melody from a parchment roll in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. (Date, Fifteenth Century.)
Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.3.58 (1230), no. 3
Mode IX.

Also found on the Selden MS. B.26 f. 23.

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

Also see:
Hail Mary, Full of Grace (Words: Marnie Barrell, revised 2001; Used with the kind permission of Ms. Barrell)

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #188, pp. 34-35. Also found as #21 in A Medieval Carol Book. See: Hail Mary Full of Grace.

Mary full of grace,
Mother in virginity.

1. The Holy Ghost is to thee sent
From the Father omnipotent
Now is God within thee went,
While the angel said 'Ave.'

2. When the angel Ave began,
Flesh and blood (they) together ran;
Mary bore both God and man,
[Through] virtue and through dignity.

3. So saith the gospel of Saint John;
(That) God and man is made but one,
[In] flesh and blood, body and bone;
One God in Personès Three.

4. And the (high) prophet Jeremy,1
Told (all men) in his prophecy
That the Son of Mary (free)
Should die for us on rood tree.

5. Much joy to us was then y-grant,
And in the earth was peace y-plant,
When that born was this Infant,
In the land of Galilee.

6. (Maid Mary grant to us the bliss
Where thy (dere) Sonnès dwelling is.
Of that we have done amiss
Pray for us for charity.

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #188, pp. 34-35.

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Note from Rev. Terry concerning the first measure of the sheet music:

1. These small notes are missing in the MS.

Additional Note from Rev Terry concerning the beginning of the fourth line of the first verse:

2. The word 'while and the melody note belonging to it are not in the MS. They are inserted here because (a) both occur in the Bodleian MS. Version. (b) the phrase does not carry its real sense without the omitted word. (c) without the extra note there are too few notes to carry the syllables of the verbal text. I have assumed a copyist's omission; it is open to anyone (after comparison of the two MMS.) to disagree with me.

Sheet Music from Sir Richard Runciman Terry, A Medieval Carol Book: The Melodies Chiefly from MMS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), Carol #21, pp. 40-41.

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Editor's Note

1. "The Prophet Jeremy" in the fourth verse is a reference to Jeremiah, "the weeping prophet." This verse may refer to chapter 11, verse 19:

"But I was like a gentle lamb
led to the slaughter.
I did not know it was against me
they devised schemes, saying,
'Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
that his name be remembered no more.'"

I have been unable to locate a more clear prophesy relating to the crucifixion of Christ in The Book Of Jeremiah, but I am not a Biblical scholar. Return

The version found in the Selden manuscript is very similar. See: Hail Mary, Full Of Grace, Mother In Virginity.

Another collection containing carols from a roll in the Library of Trinity College is by J. A. Fuller Maitland, ed., English Carols of the Fifteenth Century From A MS Roll in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. (London: The Leadenhall Press, et al., 1891). With added vocal parts by W. S. Rockstro.

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