Prepare the Feast the Viands Bring

This hymn is about St Matthew, and Jesus' response to eating with sinners (specifically publicans and tax-collectors).

It was written by English poet, hymn-translator and Church of England clergyman and later (in Ireland) bishop, Richard Mant (1776-1848).

No sheet music, recordings or examples have been found:  so far, publications that have been located are words-only. 

The text has Common Meter, so could be set to a number of well-known tunes with this rhythm, for example
  • TALLIS ORDINAL
  • ST COLUMBA
If you know what tune it was originally set to - or have a recommendation about a CM tune which is a particularly good fit for the text, please leave a message in the Comments box near the bottom of the page.


Downloads

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Examples

Instrumental, TALLIS ORDINAL:


Instrumental - ST COLUMBA


Lyrics

Prepare the feast, the viands bring,
Heap high the festal board.
The subject welcomes Israel's King;
The follower greets his Lord.

But who is he, the host whose care
Provides the costly feast?
And who are they assembled there,
Around the heavenly guest?

Tis Matthew , 'tis the publican,
The favoured host is he.
Who sat a much despised man,
Beside Tiberias' sea.

And they, the guests assembled round.
They boast no better name;
One in disgraceful union found,
Allied to sin and shame.

O holy Jesus, and are these.
Associates meet for thee ?
Is this the host thy soul to please
and this the company?

"Not to the righteous was I sent,
Not to the whole I cry; 
I call the sinner to repent;
The sick man's health, am I."

For them my glory I resign'd:
For them endure the grave.
I came the wandering sheep to find,
The perishing to save.

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