The Flos Carmeli window by Moira Forsyth at Aylesford Priory
Flos Carmeli (Flower of Carmel)
13th-century hymn to Our Lady attributed to the Carmelite St. Simon Stock
Flower of Carmel, tall vine, blossom-laden;
splendour of heaven, child-bearing, yet maiden;
none equals thee.
Mother so tender, whom no man didst know,
on Carmel's children thy favours bestow;
Star of the Sea!
Strong stem of Jesse, who bore one bright flower,
be ever near us, and guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.
Purest of lilies, that flowers among thorns,
bring help to true hearts that in weakness turn
and trust in thee.
Strongest of armour, we trust in thy might,
under thy mantle, hard pressed in the fight,
we call to thee.
Our way, uncertain, surrounded by foes,
unfailing counsel you offer to those
who turn to thee.
O gentle Mother, who in Carmel reigns,
share with your servants that gladness you gained,
and now enjoy.
Hail, gate of heaven, with glory now crowned,
bring us to safety, where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.
V. Holy Mary, Mother of Christ, hear the cry of your servants.
R. And bring down heavenly aid in answer to our prayer.
Let us pray:
By a special privilege, Lord, you have adorned the Carmelite Order with the name of your Mother, the most glorious Virgin Mary. Grant as we faithfully remember this honour, that in these days we may receive her protection and in the days to come we may be brought to everlasting happiness. This we ask of you who are living and reigning for ever. Amen.