The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Accompanying Harmonies to the Hymnal Noted
Rev. Thomas Helmore, 1852 & 1858

Thomas Helmore, Accompanying Harmonies to the Hymnal Noted. Part I (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., and Masters and Son, 1852), Part II (London: Novello and Co., Joseph Masters and J. T. Hayes, 1858), p. iv-v.

Rev. Helmore was the sole music editor in Part I of the Hymnal Noted, and was joined in this capacity in Part II by Rev. S. S. Greatheed and Rev (later Bishop) H. L. Jenner. Rev. B. Webb joined Rev. Neale in editing the texts in Part II.

Of The Various Editions of the Hymnal

The Hymnal is still published in the three forms mentioned in the Preface, at page ii. Of the Words alone there are several editions, as may be seen in the second Prospectus, the substance of which is here reprinted, with slight additions.

Second Prospectus

The Hymnal Noted.—

The increased attention paid of late years to the music of the Church has necessarily led to inquiry into the best mode of reviving the use of metrical Hymns ; and where the Prayer Book Psalter, pointed by authority, is sung (as it always should be), the ordinary metrical versions of the Psalms are no longer found to satisfy either the religious wants or the musical tastes of Christians. To supply the want universally felt, and very generally acknowledged, the Ecclesiological Society have laboured with great care, for some time past, to procure good translations of the Hymns which have been written by such holy men as S. Hilary, S. Ambrose, Prudentius, Sedulius, S. Ennodius, and S. Gregory, in the earlier ages of the Church ; by Fortunatus, the Venerable Bede, S. Bernard, Hildebert, S. Thomas Aquinas, S. Notker, Godescalcus, and Adam of S. Victor, in mediaeval times ; and by Santolius Victorinus, since the revival of classical learning.

From these authors are derived the original metrical Hymns which the whole Western Church incorporated into her Liturgy. The Reformers of the English Church wished, but were unable, to translate them; Archbishop Cranmer desired that as his "English verses wanted the grace and faculty which he could wish they had," the king "would cause some other to do them into more pleasant English and phrase." 1

The First Part of a Hymnal, intended to supply from these proper sources an orderly course of Hymns for the Christian year, has now for some time been found of eminent service in those Churches where it has been used ; and a Second Part, to complete the work, is now published.

The music is that to which, with slight variations, these Hymns have been universally sung; it is taken principally from ancient records of the English use, now extant in the British Museum. These melodies are eminently adapted for Congregational use, and have been proved to answer better on the whole than more modem tunes. The harmonies are composed on the model of the great Harmonists of the best periods of Church Music.

The complete words of the Hymnal Noted have now appeared ; the Second Part is also published separately, for the convenience of those who already possess the First. An index obviates all the difficulty that might otherwise arise from the different numbering of the complete edition, and of the two parts.

The complete edition appears in two forms.

1. The cheapest, containing the words alone ; the price is eightpence for a single copy.

2. With references to Holy Scripture. The variety and depth of Scriptural reference in early and mediaeval hymns are so extraordinary, that half the meaning may easily be missed even by those who would consider themselves excellent Biblical scholars. It is suggested that, besides its obvious uses, this edition is particularly calculated for an employment in which the Hymnal that been found very useful—catechising.

Where centos are mentioned in the following list, it will be understood, almost universally, that they are such as have been in general use in the employment of the Hymn, and not any abbreviation of our own.

In order to enable the reader, who may be interested in the study of Hymnology, to refer to the original, the eight editions, most easily procured, are here added ; and a reference is given in the list to the page of each on which any Hymn is to be found.

A. Hymnale secundum usum insignis et praeclaræ Ecclesiæ Sarisburiensis. Littlemore : Masson. 1850. [Sarum Hymnal]
Note: The page at Google Books indicated that this volume contained additions from the York and Hereford Breviaries.

B. Hymnarium Sarisburiense : cum Rubricis et Notis Musicis. Pars prima. London : Darling. 1851. [Sarum Hymnal with rubrics and music]

C. Thesaurus Hymnologicus. Ed. Herm. Adalbert. Daniel. Vol. I. (Halle, 1841), and Vol. II. (Leipsic, 1844).

D. Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters. Von F. J. Mone. Vol. I. Freiburg, 1853.

E. Sequentiæ ex Missalibus Germanicis, Anglicis, Gallicis, &c. Ed. J. M. Neale. London : J. W. Parker. 1852.

F. Hymni Ecclesiæ. Collegit J. M. Neale. Oxford, 1850.

G. Elucidatorium Ecclesiasticum : Jodoco Chlictovæo interprete. Basle, 1519. G. Pars secunda. Note: Author's name is sometimes given as "Josse Clichtove." There were several reprintings of this volume.

H. Hymnarium. Ed. Josephus Maria Carolus Thomasius. (Opp. Vol. II.) Ed. A. F. Vezzosi. Rom. 1741.


1. Vide Collier's Ecclesiastical History, Vol. II., p. 30 (or 8vo. edition, Vol. V., p. 147). Procter on Book of Common Prayer, p. 174. The analogies of the Reformation confirm this view. e.g. the Waldenses, Lollards, and Bohemian brethren sung translations of most of the Catholic Hymns, and Luther versified many. — Burney, History of Music, III., p. 30. The Lutherans retained the Hymns of the ancient offices.— Hawkins, History of Music, Bk. IX., Chap. LXXXII. (or 8vo. edition, Vol. I., p. 387.) Return

Editor's Notes:

Page numbers frequently change in subsequent volumes, and may be different than in previous volumes cited in the following list.

All of the above have been found at either Google Books or the Internet Archive with the exception of item H. Hymnarium edited by J.M.C. Thomasius, although frequent references to this work were found. As volumes are being scanned and added to the World Wide Web by the hundreds on a daily basis, there is a realistic hope that Thomasius' Hymnarium will be found at some point in the future.

This list was published in The Ecclesiologist, Volume 12, Volume 15 (October, 1854), pp. 301-307, together with estimated dates of creation.

Additional Research Resources for Particular Hymns and Carols

Column 1: Number in the Complete Edition

Column 2: Number in the Original Parts I and II

Note that not all hymns and carols will have a resource in the above list.

CE # Original # Translation Original Latin Season Note and Resources
28 10 Creator Of The Stars Of Night Conditor alme siderum Advent-Evening A. 81, B. 1, C. 74, D. 49, G. 16, H. 378.
29 11 To Earth Descending, Word Sublime Verbum supernum prodiens Advent-Morning A. 32, B. 4, C. 77, D. 48, G. 16, H. 879.
30 65 Draw Nigh, Draw Nigh, Emmanuel Veni, Veni, Emanuel Advent C. 836, F. 67.
31 12 Come, Thou Redeemer Of The Earth Veni, Redemptor Gentium Christmas Eve-Evening One of the most celebrated hymns of S. Ambrose.
A. 75, B. 7, C. 12, G. 16.
32 66 Of The Father Sole Begotten Corde Natus Ex Parentis Christmas Eve-Morning A cento from the 9th hymn of the Cathemerinan of Prudentius. It is not in the Sarum Hymnal, but occurs in different form in the York and in the Hereford: our version is from the former.
A. 157, B. 14, C. 122, G, 19, H. 352.
33 13 Jesu, The Father’s Only Son Christe Redemptor omnium-Neale Christmas Day-Morning A. 87, B. 12, C. 78, G. 17, H. 352
34 14 From Lands That See The Sun Arise A Solis Ortus Cardine Christmas Day-Morning A cento from the hymn with the same commencement of Sedulius. A. 89, B. 15, C. 143, G. 17, H. 353 and 432.
35 67 Be Present, Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant Adeste Fideles Christmas No note or research resources given.
36 68 Let Every Age And Nation Own Agnoscat omne saeculum Christmas-First Hour This and the three following hymns are by S. Venantius Fortunatus : they are not in the Sarum, but occur in the York Hymnal A. 159, C. 159, H. 853.
37 69 The Virgin Mary Hath Conceived Maria ventre concipit Christmas-Third Hour This hymn is by S. Venantius Fortunatus : it is not in the Sarum, but occurs in the York Hymnal A. 159, C. 159, H. 853.
38 70 He, By Whose Hand The Light Was Made Praesepe poni pertulit Christmas-Sixth Hour This hymn is by S. Venantius Fortunatus : it is not in the Sarum, but occurs in the York Hymnal A. 159, C. 159, H. 853.
39 71 Now The Old Adam's Sinful Stain Adam vetus quod polluit Christmas-Ninth Hour This hymn is by S. Venantius Fortunatus : it is not in the Sarum, but occurs in the York Hymnal A. 159, C. 159, H. 853.
40 15 Saint Of God, Elect And Precious Sancte Dei, pretiose St. Stephen A. 40, B. 18, C. 241, F. 81, G. 19.
41 16 All Hail Ye Infant Martyr Flowers Salvete, Flores Martyrum Holy Innocents A cento from the 12th hymn of the Cathemerinon of Prudentius. This hymn is not found in any of the English Hymnals ; which merely employ that from the Common of Martyrs. C. 124, G. 22.
42 17 Why, Impious Herod, Vainly Fear Hostis Herodis Impie Epiphany And The Following Week-Evening A cento from Paean Alphabeticus de Christo by Sedulius []. A. 42. B. 28, C. 147, G. 22, H. 859.
43 18 Jesu! The Very Thought Is Sweet! Jesu dulcis memoria Epiphany And The Following Week-Morning A cento from the hymn called the Jubilus of S. Bernard, and known to the medieval writers as the "Rosy Hymn." A. 142, C. 227
44 72 Jesu! The Very Thought Is Sweet! Jesu dulcis memoria Epiphany At The Holy Communion Another cento from the same, arranged as a sequence.
45 73 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High O amor quam extaticus Sundays After Epiphany A cento. D. 67
88 93 The God Whom Earth, And Sea, And Sky Quem terra, pontus, aethera Purification or Annunciation A cento from a hymn of S. Venatius Fortunatius. A. 109, C. 172, G. 49, H. 383.
89 94 Full of Gladness, Let Our Faithful Choir Lætabundus Purification or Annunciation This celebrated Sequence of St. Bernard, the melody of which was popular all over Europe, was used by the Church of Sarum indifferently as a sequence or hymn. A. 114, C. 61, G. 156.
90 95 To The Virgin He Sends Mittit ad Virginem Annunciation-Morning A sequence, by Peter Abelard. C. 69, G. 153.
91 96 The Sighs and The Sorrows Humani generis Annunciation-Morning No additional note.
92 97 The Great Forerunner of the Morn Praecursor altus luminis St. John the Baptist A cento from a hymn of Venerable Bede. H. 387.
46 46 Day of Wrath! O Day of Mourning! Dies iræ, dies illa Second Advent And After the Burial of the Dead at Holy Communion The world-famous sequence of Thomas of Celano, the friend and biographer of S. Francis. C. 103.

The Greater Antiphons

Advent - At Even-song During Eight Days Before Christmas. See: Notes on Veni, Veni, Emmanuel
    O Wisdom, Which Camest Forth O Sapientia Dec. 16 No additional notes.
    O Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel O Adonai Dec. 17 No additional notes.
    O Root of Jesse O Radix Jesse Dec. 18 No additional notes.
    O Key of David O Clavis David Dec. 19 No additional notes.
    O Orient O Oriens Dec. 20 No additional notes.
    O King of the Gentiles O Rex Gentium Dec. 21 No additional notes.
    O Emmanuel O Emmanuel Dec. 22 No additional notes.
    O Virgin of Virgins O Virgo Virginum Dec. 23 No additional notes.

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