Please turn to number 86 and join with the clarinets in “O Come and Mourn with Me”.
First Line: O Come and Mourn With Me
Name: ST. CROSS
Music: John Bacchus Dykes, 1823-76
Text: Frederick William Faber, 1814-63
Clarinet Arrangement: 086-OComeAndMournWithMe
I really like this hymn.
However, regarding Mr Dykes, while popular in Victorian times, his tunes fell out of favor in the 20th Century.
Whereas the proliferation of Dykes’s tunes in hymnals published throughout the nineteenth century, together with some surviving correspondence by hymnal compilers and by clergymen, in the UK and overseas (including the US and Nyasaland (now Malawi)), show that his compositions were highly regarded, the end of his century brought a widespread reaction against much of the Victorian aesthetic, and Dykes’s music did not escape a censure which was often vituperative. In particular, his music was condemned for its alleged over-chromaticism (even though some 92% of his hymn tunes are either entirely, or almost entirely diatonic)  and for its imputed sentimentality. (Speaking of Victorian hymn-tunes generally, but evidently with Dykes in his sights  Vaughan Williams wrote of ‘the miasma of the languishing and sentimental hymn tunes which so often disfigure our services’ ) Whereas it is indeed reasonable to characterise his music as often being sentimental, his critics never paused to explain why nineteenth century church services, which were replete with sentimental imagery, prose and choreography, should not be accompanied by music of a like kind. Nor did they explain why sentimentality per se is a bad thing, nor why music invariably improves in inverse proportion to its sentimental content. As one writer put it, in a wider consideration of the subject: “Something is wrong with sentimentality: the only question is, What is it?”  As for Dykes’s harmonies generally (of which the twentieth century writers Erik Routley and Kenneth Long were outspoken in their disparagement), scholars in recent years have questioned the twentieth century orthodoxy which condemned Dykes’s music out of hand, with Professors Arthur Hutchings, Nicholas Temperley and (especially) Jeremy Dibble seeing the importance of Dykes’s pioneering work in moving hymn-tunes from the bland and four-square long metre tunes which had been the staple of Tate and Brady’s New Version of the Psalms.
And regarding the author of this hymn, which is nothing if not sentimental…
Frederick William Faber was born in 1814 at Calverley, then within the Parish of Calverley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where his grandfather, Thomas Faber, was the vicar. His father served the local bishop of the Church of England as his secretary.
Faber attended grammar school at Bishop Auckland in County Durham for a short time, but a large portion of his boyhood was spent in Westmorland. He afterwards attended the Harrow School for five years, followed by enrollment in 1832 at Balliol College at the University of Oxford. In 1834, he obtained a scholarship at the University College, from which he graduated. In 1836 he won the Newdigate Prize for a poem on “The Knights of St John,” which elicited special praise from John Keble. Among his college friends were Arthur Penrhyn Stanley and Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne. After graduation he was elected a fellow of the college.
Faber’s family was of Huguenot descent, and Calvinist beliefs were strongly held by them. When Faber had come to Oxford, he was exposed to the Anglo-Catholic preaching of the Oxford Movement which was beginning to develop in the Church of England. One of its most prominent proponents was the popular preacher John Henry Newman, vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Faber struggled with these divergent forms of Christian beliefs and life. In order to relieve his tension, he would take long vacations in the Lake District, where he would write poetry. There he was befriended by another poet, William Wordsworth. He finally abandoned the Calvinistic views of his youth and became an enthusiastic follower of Newman.
O come and mourn with me awhile; O come ye to the Savior’s side; O come, together let us mourn: Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.
Have we no tears to shed for him, While soldiers scoff and foes deride? Ah! Look how patiently he hangs: Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.
Seven times he spake, seven words of love; And all three hours his silence cried For mercy on the souls of men: Jesus, our Lord, is crucified.
O love of God, O sin of man! In this dread act your strength is tried, And victory remains with love: For he, our Love, is crucified!