The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Heavenly Word Proceeding Forth

For Advent

Words: Verbum supernum prodiens, Attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), ca. 1263, Probably based on 10th Century or earlier sources,  translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale and the compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern.

Music: "St. Vincent," J. Uglow
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML

1. The heavenly Word proceeding forth,
Yet leaving not the Fatherís side,
Accomplishing His work on earth
Had reached at length lifeís eventide.

2. By false disciple to be given
To foemen for His life athirst
Himself, the very Bread of Heavín,
He gave to His disciples first.

3. He gave Himself in either kind,
His precious flesh, His precious blood,
In loveís own fullness thus designed
Of the whole man to be the Food.1

4. By birth their fellow man was He;2
Their Meat, when sitting at the board;
He died, their Ransomer to be;
He ever reigns, their great Reward.


1. Or:
    Himself in either kind He gave,
    He gave His Flesh, He gave His Blood.
    Of flesh and blood all men are made,
    And He of man would be the Food.

2. Or: By Birth man's fellowman was He; Return

In some versions, the hymn O Saving Victim, Opening Wide, is included as verses 5 and 6.

Sheet Music ("Verbum Supernum" and "Alfreton") From Arthur Henry Brown, ed., The Altar Hymnal. London: Griffith, Farrar, Okeden & Welsh, 1885, #110, pp. 352-353.

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