The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Hail Mary, Full Of Grace, Mother In Virginity

Words: English Traditional, Fifteenth Century
Bodleian Library. MS. Arch. Selden B. 26. XV Century.

Compare: Hail Mary Full of Grace (Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols)
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: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 12.

Hail 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,
    The angel said "Ave."

2. When the angel ave began,
Flesh and blood together ran;
Mary bare both God and man,
    Through virtue and pure dignity.

3. So saith the gospel of Saint John:
God and man is made but one,
In flesh and blood, body and bone,
    One God in Persons Three.

4. And the Prophet Jeremy1
Told in his prophecy
That the Son of Mary
    Should die for us on the Rood-tree.

5. He to us much joy did grant
And of peace on earth no want,
Since the birth of this Infant
    In the land of Galilee.

6. Mary grant to us thy bliss
Where thy Son His dwelling is;
For what we have done amiss
    Pray for grace for charity. Amen.

Editor's Note

1. "The Prophet Jeremy" is a reference to the prophet 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

J. A. Fuller Maitland, English Carols of the Fifteenth Century. London: The Leadenhall Press, E.C., ca. 1891.

Carol in Original Form From a 15th Century Manuscript

Carol in Modern Form

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