The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Saint Of God, Elect And Precious

For St. Stephen's Day
Feast day of St. Stephan the First Martyr is December 26
Hymns to St Stephen

Words: Sancte Dei, pretiose, with notes
Latin hymn, 10th-16th Century
Translated by Rev. John Mason Neale

Compare: Saint of God, Beloved Stephen (W.J. Blew)

Music: From the Salisbury Hymnal.
Additional music includes St. Thomas
Melody from S. Webbe's 'Motetts or Antiphons,' 1792
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
Meter: 87 87 87

Source: Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore, eds., Hymnal Noted, Part I. (London: Novello & Co., 1852), Part II (London: Novello & Co., 1856), #15 (#40 in Combined Edition), p. 42.

Acts 6:8. "And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among
the people."

1. Saint of God, elect and precious,
    Protomartyr Stephen, bright 2
With thy love of amplest measure,
    Shining round thee like a light;
a Who to God commendedst, dying,
    Them that did thee all despite:

2. b Glitters now the crown above thee, 7
    Figured in thy sacred name:
Oh! that we, who truly love thee,
    May have portion in the same;
c In the dreadful Day of Judgment
    Fearing neither sin nor shame.

3. Laud to God, and might, and honour,
    Who with flow'rs of rosy dye 14
Crown'd thy forehead, and hath plac'd thee
    In the starry throne on high:
He direct us, He protect us
    From death's sting eternally. Amen.

Note: At the bottom of p. 42 of Hymnal Noted there is this:

"Published under the sanction of the Ecclesiological late Cambridge Camden Society, by J. Alfred Novello. 69, Dean-street, Soho, and 24, Poultry."

Notes from A Short Commentary on the Hymnal Noted (London: Joseph Masters, 1852), #XV, p.  15.

2. Protomartyr. That is, first martyr. Return

7. The Crown figured in thy name. The word Stephen, in Greek, signifies a Crown. Return

14. Of rosy dye. Because of the blood that he shed for Christ's Name. Return

Notes from The Words of the Hymnal Noted Complete With Scriptural References (London: J. A. Novello and J. Masters, no date, circa 1855), #40 (#15 in Hymnal Noted), pp.  44-45.

a. Acts vii. 60. Return

b. 2 Tim. iv. 8. S. James i. 12. 1 S. Pet. v. 4. Rev. ii. 10. Return

c. 1. S. John iv. 17. Wisdom iii. 1. Return

Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore, eds., Hymnal Noted, Part I. (London: Novello & Co., 1852), Part II (London: Novello & Co., 1856), #15, p. 42.

42.jpg (318926 bytes)

Sheet Music from 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), #15.

15-01.jpg (314503 bytes) 15-02.jpg (560364 bytes)

Sheet Music from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #75, p. 117.

Hopkins gives the source as "Hymnal Noted."
"Proper Sarum Melody, reduced.
Harmonized by H. R. Schroeder."

Also found in

The following note is from John Julian, The Dictionary of Hymnology (1892), p. 992.

Sancte Dei pretiose, protomartyr Stephane. [St. Stephen.] The original form of this hymn is in 3 stanzas of 3 lines (ii. "Funde preces," iii. "Gloria et honor").

This form is in two MSS. of the 11th cent, in the British Museum (Vesp. D.xii., f. 36 ; Harl. 2961, f. 229); and in the Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church., 1851, is printed from an 11th cent. MS. at Durham. (B. iii. 32, f. 14.) Also in the Sarum, Hereford, York, Aberdeen, and other Breviaries. Sometimes used for the Invention of St. Stephen. The original form is also printed by Mone, No. 1158, from an 11th cent. MS. at Stuttgart, &c. The text in Daniel, i., No. 221, contains six additional stanzas, probably of North German origin, and of much later date. [J. M.]

Translations in Common Usage:-

1. Saint Of God, Elect And Precious [this page]. By J. M. Neale, of the 3 stanzas form of the text, in the Hymnal Noted, 1852 ; the Hymner, 1882, &c.

2. Saint of God, Beloved Stephen. By W. J. Blew, in his Church Hymn & Tune Book, 1852-55, Christmas, No. 18, and in Rice's Selections from the same, 1870, No. 12. This, in 6 stanzas of 6 lines, is from the text of Daniel abridged.

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