Mother at Your Feet is Kneeling

This hymn is one of the earliest vernacular hymns used in popular devotions in Catholic churches in America.

It is attributed to "Sister SC" - although it's not clear if she wrote the words, the tune or both.   It does not appear to have been published in any hymnals, but was frequently used (sung by a soloist) at pre-Vatican II weddings and funerals. The composition date is unknown: sheet music was clearly published in the 1940/50s, but it is possibly older still, based on the ages of some (often now deceased) people who remember it from their childhood.

It was recorded by various people in the mid-20th century, including:
  • Dennis Day with the Roger Wagner Chorale and organ (ref) - the year of this is unknown.
  • Bobby Wayne with the choir of the Shrine Church of St. Bernadette - in 1950 (ref)

Copyright status has been difficult to determine:
  • A setting with additional lyrics by  Chris Wynne and Allan James was published in Australia in 1952.  (ref) - this states that the original tune was by Sr SC, and the lyrics were from "Our Sunday Visitor".
  • One recording (ref) attributes copyright to The Boston Music Co. - which closed in 2003.  Others don't address the copyright issue.
  • A listing from the University of Notre Dame Archives includes it in a list of music collected by Frank Lysy, Organist at St. Joseph's, Herndon, VA - 1911-1981 - and this gives it a date of 1929.


Downloads






Examples


Professional recording from 1952:



Singer, self-accompanied on guitar:



Solo singer with piano - live recording during a church service:


Soloist with organ:



Solo singer with light orchestra:


Lyrics:

Mother at your feet is kneeling,
One who loves you 'tis your child
Who has sought so oft to see you.
Bless me Mother, bless your child.
Mother, when my Jesus calls me
From this world so dark and drear;
From the wily snares of Satan,
Shield me Mother, Mother dear.

Chorus
Dearest Mother, tell my Jesus,
How I love Him fond and true;
And oh Mary, dearest Mother,
Tell Him I belong to you.

2.
Plead for me when Jesus judges,
Answer for me when He asks;
How I spent so many moments
How perform so many tasks.
Mary, oh my dearest Mother
May it e'er to me be giv'n;
As on earth I fondly love Thee
So, to love Thee still in Heav'n .

Wedding verse:
Mother at Your feet we’re kneeling,
on this happy wedding day.
To Your love and care appealing,
asking guidance on our way.
Sanctify each joy and sorrow,
bless each morn with Thy sweet smile.
From Thy wisdom may we borrow,
hear and bless us, Mother Mild.
Dearest Mother, tell our Jesus
how we love Him fond and true.
And, oh Mary dearest Mother,
tell Him we belong to You.

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