November 2016 – the English Spiritual Tradition on the “Called to be” website

All Saints – 1 November


No Eye Hath Seen – St Philip Howard

This hymn in honour of the saints was written by Philip Howard while imprisoned in the Tower, when he was soon to join them; a reminder that we are all “called to be holy”. St Philip, and all the saints, pray for us!

No eye hath seen what joys the saints obtain,
no ear hath heard what comforts are possessed,
no heart can think in what delight they reign,
nor pen express their happy port of rest,
where pleasure flows and grief is never seen,
where good abounds and ill is banished clean.
Those sacred saints remain in perfect peace
which Christ confessed, and walked in his ways;
they shine in bliss, which now shall never cease,
and to his Name do sing eternal praise.
Before his throne in white they ever stand,
and carry palms of triumph in their hand.
O worthy place, where such a Lord is chief,
O glorious Lord, who princely servants keeps,
O happy Saints, which never taste of grief,
O blessed state when malice ever sleeps.
No-one is here of base or mean degree,
but all are known the Sons of God to be.

Text: Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

Image: Saints (St Catherine, St Mary Magdalene, St Margaret and St Stephen) from the Egerton Psalter, England (East Anglia); c. 1270 – c. 1290, British Library

Antonia Lynn

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