A Catholic Hymn I'd like Back, Please

I awoke this morning with this in my head, and it’s been an earworm all day:

Accept, Almighty Father
This gift of bread and wine
Which now your priest does offer
To You O GOD benign.

In humble reparation
for sins and failings dread
To win life everlasting
for living and for dead.

Actually, what I awoke with was the next part:

Oh, God, by this commingling
of water and of wine
may He who took our nature
Give us His life divine

There is more, after that, but I can’t remember it, and it grieves me to no end that I can’t find anything about it on Google or Bing. This was liturgical hymn of my childhood, and it was one of those great hymns that provided catechesis; it accentuated and defined the vertical and horizontal aspects of the mass, while having the beneficial effect of adding to the sense of reverence, awe to the most solemn part of the mass, when earth and heaven are joined in Christ, and communion and community all support it. And it joined our prayers to the priests in a profound way — who sings prays twice — and that is part of community, too, and dare I say it, unity.

I remember singing this hymn, and loving it, when I was a kid, but I know I have not sung it in perhaps 42 years, certainly not since I moved from Long Island as a child, when I was ten.

Does anyone remember the last bit?

I’m not someone who wants to throw out
the whole “Music Issue” in our parishes, but I certainly do wish we could find a way to include some of the wonderful and instructive music that was tossed out — baby with bathwater — in the reforms of the 1970′s, and this is one hymn I’d love to see brought back.

Your thoughts?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Maggie Evans

    I was a very young adult who sang the “traditional” music of the church in choirs, which included much sacred classical music in Latin, of course. This is the church music I cut my teeth on as a singer. It has always been difficult for me to embrace the post Vatican II body of music, although I hold a very soft spot in my heart for the work of Bob Hurd! As a cantor of many years, I am blessed to be part of the music ministry in a parish which boasts a very young music director who loves and appreciates the music of the Church. He takes every opportunity to insert the grand music from days past along with more contemporary pieces.

  • Julie

    Google led me to this version in several places:

    1. Accept Almighty Father
    these gifts of bread and wine
    which now the priest is offering
    for us before thy shrine.
    But soon the Word will make them
    his Body and his Blood.
    The Sacrifice renewing
    once offered on the rood.

    2. With these although unworthy
    some offering we will make,
    but all we have Thou gavest
    then what thou gavest take.
    Our hearts, our souls, our senses
    we give through Mary’s hands
    who by the cross once standing
    now by the altar stands.

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    Hi Julie — that’s a different hymn; I’ve even heard a gospel choir do that one. The one I’m specifically referring to seems to have disappeared! I’m sad!

  • Maggie Evans

    The text works perfectly with the music of “The Church is One Foundation”, although I am not positive that would be the source of the tune. I also sing in a Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and many of the “old standard” tunes we used before Vatican II are well represented in their hymnal. The “Foundation” tune is there and has many different texts applied to it.

    [Yes, that's true. The hymn I am remembering, I can't describe! You don't want to hear me sing. But it wasn't Church's One Foundation tune...another of my faves, btw. -admin]

  • Ron

    I found this at http://www.denken-im-glauben.de/internationale_lieder/Wir%20weihn%20der%20Erde%20Gaben.htm
    from a German hymn (“Wir weihn der Erde Gaben”) by Petronia Steiner (I think)

    englisch translation:
    Accept, almighty Father, these gifts of wine and bread,
    Now offered at the altar to You through Christ our head.
    In humble reparation for sins and failings dread
    To gain life everlasting for living and for dead.

    O God, by this commingling of water and of wine,
    May He who took our nature give us his life divine.
    Come, then, and make us holy, receive this sacrifice,
    Into your favor take us; in Christ we may arise.

    [That's the woids! Can't find it on YouTube, though. I'd love to sing it at a liturgy again! -admin]

  • Sean

    Not this one? There are a few versions at Youtube under the German title. This may be the clearest:


  • Mary Ann

    I remember singing this hymn when I was in the grade school choir. I think it was in “The People’s Mass Book” hymnal.

  • http://masterlimitedpartnerships.net joe cioffi
  • Mila

    The verse as I remember it said:

    O God, by this commingling of water and of wine,
    May He who took our nature give us his life divine.
    Come Thou Who makest holy and bless the gifts we bring
    And grant that Thy Name’s glory we may forever sing.

  • Sherrill

    I thought this was “Oh Lord with Wondrous Mystery”? A hymn I loved.Sherrill

  • Sharon Ferguson

    You might try out the hymnal that the Anglican Catholic Church uses – there are a great many wonderful old traditional hymns from various time periods: Renaissance, Reformation, 18th century composers, 19th century composers, both Catholic and Protestant hymns.

    Also, do you know of CyberHymnal?

  • John Igoe

    The verses as published in the PEOPLE’s MASS BOOK were translated by World Library of Sacred Music are:
    Accept, Almight Father, This gift of bread and wine. Which now Thy priest does offer to thee, O god benighn. In humble reparation For sins and failings dread, To win life everlasting for living and for dead.

    O God, by this commingling of water and of wine, May he who took our nature Give us his life divine. Come, thou make makes holy, And bless this sacrifice. Then shall our gift be pleasing to thee above the skies.

    This hymn paraphrases the offertory prayers of the pre-1969 missal. As you know, most of these prayers were suppressed and we got “Blessed be God forever” in their stead!… While the Missal of 2000 does not restore the old offertory, many of the other translations which, as you say “accentuated and defined the vertical and horizontal aspects of the mass,” have been restored. Deo Gratias.

  • Mark. Gooley

    This hymn has suffered more from the ravages of “alt.” than most. (You know, the damage indicated by the abbreviation they put after the name of the original lyricist.) I’ve seen so many versions. I THINK that “Which now Thy priest doth offer/ To Thee, o God divine” might be the original, but I wouldn’t bet money on that.

    Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) publications seem to be the worst with “alt.”: they seem to take a perverse glee in altering hymns not merely to remove the thees and thous, but every spark of wit and cleverness and life. Does anyone at OCP have any humility at all? Is there an OCP district prepared in Purgatory? I nominate “Crown Him With Many Crowns” as the most mangled hymn I’ve seen resulting from their efforts. It’s wonderfully clever in the original: see e.g.


    This lack of humility, this firm faith of the bungler that, despite obvious evidence to the contrary, he can improve on the original, is why English-speaking Catholics have been stuck with a lame translation of the Mass for most of my life. I can hardly wait for Advent so I can finally say a correct English version of “Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te” aloud in church.

  • Catholic Cantor

    Oregon Catholic Press is part of our problem. They have been systematically removing the great hymns and putting in absolute rubbish for years. They are also into inclusive language. Blech. As a woman, that offends me. I want the male female theological language. This weekend, we could not find a simple God Bless America in the book. They are up to something.