Mary the Dawn is a simple hymn. Its melody is based on the Gregorian Psalm Tone, Mode IV, and the text was written by Paul Cross (Justin Mulcahy, C.P.). It first appeared in the 1953 St. Pius X Hymnal.
Over 20 years ago, I learned to sing this at a Catholic summer camp. I clearly remember that the girls sang “Mary the Dawn”, and the boys responded, “Christ the Perfect Day” etc. at chapel/rosary time before dinner.
Now with my boys, I sing the first part, and they respond. They really enjoy singing this one! As we learned it, I pointed out the connections between Mary and Christ in the text. Then I said, “If Christ is the Living Bread, what would Mary be?” and my 9-year-old correctly guessed “wheat”.
I hope you enjoy singing this one, too! Here’s everything you need to learn it:
Mary the Dawn
Author: Paul Cross (Justin Mulcahy, C.P.) Read his bio
Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the Gate, Christ the Heav’nly Way!
Mary the Root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the Grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the Wheat-Sheaf, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the Rose-Tree, Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the Font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the Temple; Christ the Temple’s Lord;
Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the Mother, Christ the Mother’s Son.
Both ever blest while endless ages run. Amen.
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