ST. AGNES (Dykes)

Composer: John Bacchus Dykes

As a young child John Bacchus Dykes (b. Kingston-upon-Hull' England, 1823; d. Ticehurst, Sussex, England, 1876) took violin and piano lessons. At the age of ten he became the organist of St. John's in Hull, where his grandfather was vicar. After receiving a classics degree from St. Catherine College, Cambridge, England, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1847. In 1849 he became the precentor and choir director at Durham Cathedral, where he introduced reforms in the choir by insisting on consistent attendance, increasing rehearsals, and initiating music festivals. He served the parish of St. Oswald in Durham from 1862 until the year of his death. To the chagrin of his bishop, Dykes favored the high church practices associated with… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Title: ST. AGNES (Dykes)
Composer: John Bacchus Dykes (1866)
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Incipit: 33323 47155 53225
Key: A♭ Major
Copyright: Public Domain

Texts

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

Jesus, the very thought of thee
with sweetness fills the breast;
but sweeter far thy face to see,
and in thy presence rest.

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Notes

John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. AGNES for [Jesus the Very Thought of Thee]. Dykes named the tune after a young Roman Christian woman who was martyred in A.D. 304 during the reign of Diocletian. St. Agnes was sentenced to death for refusing to marry a nobleman to whom she said, "I am already engaged to Christ, to Him alone I keep my troth." The tune was published in John Grey's Hymnal for Use in the English Church (1866).

ST. AGNES is a simple tune, best sung in two long lines and in harmony. To encourage meditation on the text (as was the practice with its Latin original), consider having the congregation follow the text of stanza 2 ("No voice can sing") without singing, but simply listening to it as played by the organ.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987

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Instances

Instances (1 - 100 of 153)
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Journeysongs (3rd ed.) #455

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Les Chants du Pèlerin #12

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Pages

Include 432 pre-1979 instances
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