Song in praise of Mother Mary (of Mount Carmel)
Set to the tune of a Syriac hymn, Baslōs Kēnē
A hymn currently in use in the monasteries of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.
This beautiful hymn is in praise of the Immaculate Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, the patroness of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. The first two verses of the hymn establish the theme by addressing Mary as the “Immaculately conceived Virgin,” and the “mistress of Mount Carmel.” The verses are set to the melody of a Syriac hymn, Baslōs Kēnē. There are 48 verses in twelve four-verse stanzas in the hymn. The printed version of the text does not mention the author of the text. Circumstantial evidence indicates that the author might be Fr. Abel Periyappuram, CMI (1920-2001). The poetic style and the use of particular imageries are characteristics of the lyrical style of Fr. Abel. Moreover, we see ample quotations of verses from this hymn in Fr. Abel’s signature work, “Kānōna Namaskāram” (Liturgy of the Hours) in Malayalam. Thirty-two out of forty-two verses from the hymn find a place in the three volumes of the Hours: nineteen verses in the night prayers (Lelya) on Wednesdays in the season of the Cross (Slīwākkālam), twelve verses in the evening prayer (Ramsa) on Wednesdays in the season of Lent, and one verse in the evening prayers on Wednesdays in the season of The sanctification of the Church (Paḷḷikkŭdāšakkālam). Interestingly, all the quotations are in the Hours on Wednesdays. Maybe, Fr. Abel was following the Chaldean tradition of treating Wednesdays as days of special devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
The hymn used to be a part of a special Wednesday-ritual in the CMI communities. The members of the community gathered in the church at dusk, wearing a turquoise mantle over their religious habit and stood in a row holding a lit candle and sang the entire hymn. The performance practice changed in the 1990s. Instead of a particular ritual gathering on Wednesday evenings, currently, the communities sing two stanzas every day at the end of the night prayers.
See more information at “Māthṛusthawam” Directory of Christian Songs : www.The CMSIndia.orgJoseph J. Palackal, CMI
27 March 2020