The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Christ the Lord Would Come On Earth

For Advent

Words: Dean Henry Alford

Music: Thomas Helmore and Thomas Morley, eds., Music of the Appendix to the Hymnal Noted. (Novello, Ewer & Co., No Date, ca. 1870), Tune #121
Meter: L.M. - 8888

Source: Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore, eds., Hymnal Noted, Parts I &  II (London: Novello & Co., 1889), Appendix, #121, pp. 130-131.

1. When Christ the Lord would come on earth,
    His Messenger before Him went ;
The greatest born of mortal birth,
    And charged with words of deep intent.

2. The least of all that here attend,
    Hath honour greater far than he,
He was the Bridegroom's joyful friend,
    His body and His spouse are we.

3. A higher race, the sons of light,
    Of water and the Spirit born ;
He the last star of parting night,
    And we the children of the morn.

4. And as he boldly spake Thy word,
    And joyed to hear the Bridegroom's voice,
Thus may Thy pastors teach, O Lord,
    And thus Thy listening Church rejoice.

5. To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    The God, Whom heaven and earth adore,
Be glory, as it was of old,
    Is now, and shall be evermore. Amen.

Sheet Music from Thomas Helmore and Thomas Morley, eds., Music of the Appendix to the Hymnal Noted. (Novello, Ewer & Co., No Date, ca. 1870), Tune #121.

Tune_121.jpg (45412 bytes)

Note from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology. Second Revised Edition with New Supplement. (1892, 1907), p. 1268.

When Christ the Lord would [shall] come on earth. Henry Alford. [St. John Baptist] In the Author's Hymns for the Sundays and Festivals throughout the Year, 1836, this hymn was appointed for St. John Baptist's Day : but on its transference to his Psalms & Hymns, 1844, it was given for the 3rd S. in Advent, No. vi., and marked in error as having been published in that collection for the first time. It is found in his Year of Praise, 1867, and Poetical Works, in the 8th ed. of which it is dated 1835. Original text, in the S. P. C. K. Church Hymns, 1871. It is in somewhat extensive use, and sometimes in an altered form, as in the Murray's Hymnal, 1852, with the same first line, but much altered and with the addition of a new stanza.

Editor's Note.

The original form of the hymn, for St. John the Baptist, from Church Hymns (1871): When Christ The Lord Would Come On Earth

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