Many Anglicans know the hymn, ‘Her virgin eyes saw God incarnate born’. Some forty years ago I found and memorised this verse: I think that it is by Thomas Ken and belongs with that hymn. The verse teaches both the immaculate conception of Mary, and the continuing tradition of her life free from sin.
The Holy Ghost his temple in her built, / Cleansed from congeni’al, kept from mortal guilt, / And from the moment that her blood was fired / Into her heart celestial love inspired.
Thomas Ken (1637-1711) was Bishop of Bath & Wells. He is the most famous of the ‘Non-Jurors’. He joined nine other bishops (including Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury) and 400 clergy who were deposed for their refusal to take the oath to William and Mary after the so-called ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.
This verse does not appear in the English Hymnal which perhaps points to the need for an Ordinariate Supplementary Hymnal. Now what ought to be included in that? The word ‘included’ is the key one for Catholics (as opposed to a policy of ‘exclusion’). Have you ever noticed: Catholics will sing virtually anything proposed for a ‘Unity Service’ – but our fellow Christians have a long list of hymns they won’t sing. It leads us into some wonderful ironies, as, for example, the sound of a church full of Catholics singing ‘Be still, for the presence of the Lord’ before the Blessed Sacrament. It’s not quite what its author envisaged, I guess.
Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLd9n3DfGpw and just read those words and you will see why we sing it.