Dear Face with Pain Transfigured

This is a hymn for Good Friday.  It was written by English Roman Catholic university lecturer, choral director and Renaissance music scholar, Anthony G. Petti (1932 -1985).

The hymn is a translation of  a German hymn, “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” which was written by Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676).  This in turn was based on “Salve Mundi Salutare” a medieval poem written in Latin and attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux or Arnulf von Löwen.

Other English translations of the same text include Henry Williams Baker's O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” and Robert Bridges “O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded" (1899) (ref and ref).

The hymn was published in the New Catholic Hymnal, by Faber Music Ltd (UK) in 1971, which was edited by Petti.  It was included in a BBC-produced radio broadcast in 1979 (ref) - but after that the internet does not appear to have any further references to it.  However it was recently (2020) requested by a reader who reports singing it in 4-part harmony in a Catholic church in Zambia.

With meter 76 76 D, it is set to tune called PASSION CHORALE, which was composed by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) and adapted/harmonised by J S Bach (1685 –1750).




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Examples

Instrumental - piano:


Instrumental - reed organ:


Instrumental - organ:


Instrumental - guitar / cello duet:


Lyrics

The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. No on-line sources have been found - the only source is the New English Hymnal, which is still in-print. A rough outline is:
1 Dear face, with pain transfigured, which piercing thorns have scarred ...

2 With strength and vigour failing, Your body wracked with pain ...

3 Good Shepherd by your passion, Your grief and misery ...

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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
Dear face, with pain transfigured, which piercing thorns have scarred,
Your head with blows disfigured, Your countenance so marred.
How pale these looks so tender, Your features bruised and sore;
How dimmed the kingly splendour which heavenly hosts adore.

With strength and vigour failing, Your body wracked with pain,
The mark of death prevailing, life ebbs from every vein;
Enduring desecration, You die for love of me,
In all your desolatiion, relieve my misery.

Good Shepherd by your passion, Your grief and misery
Through kindness and compassion, from sin you set us free.
In all your boundless giving, grant us our last request,
That with you ever living, we dwell among the blest.

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