The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Let Every Age And Nation Own

For Christmas
Christmas Hymn for Prime (The First Hour)

Words: A cento from Agnoscat omne saeculum by S. Venantius Fortunatus
Translation by John Mason Neale

Music: Tune 1 from the York Manuscript in Sion College
Tune 2: Words from the York Hymnal, Melody from the Salisbury

Source: Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore, eds., Hymnal Noted, Part I. (London: Novello & Co., 1852), Part II (London: Novello & Co., 1856), #68, (CE 36), pp. 135-136.

1. a Let every age and nation own
b That life's reward at length is shewn ;
c The Foe's hard yoke is cast away,
d Redemption hath appeared to-day.

2. e Isaiah's strains fulfilment meet,
And in the Virgin are complete :
f The Angel's tongue hath called her blest :
g The Holt Ghost hath filled her breast.

3. All honour, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee !
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

Scriptural References from The Words of the Hymnal Noted Complete With Scriptural References (London: J. A. Novello and J. Masters, no date, circa 1856), p. 42.

a. Psalm lxxii. 8. Isaiah xi. 9. Hab. ii. 14. Return

b. S. John xiv. 6. Rom. vi. 23. Gal. iv. 4. Return

c. Jer ii. 20. Wis. v. 7. Deut. vi. 21. Return

d. Ex. iii. 2. Eph. iii. 5. Return

e. Isaiah vii. 14. Isaiah ix. 6. Isaiah xi. 1. Isaiah xvi. 1. Isaiah xxxv. 4. Isaiah lv. 4. Isaiah lxii. 11. Return

f. S. Luke i. 28. Return

g. S. Matt. i. 18. Return

Sheet Music from Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore, eds., Hymnal Noted, Part I. (London: Novello & Co., 1852), Part II (London: Novello & Co., 1856), #68, pp. 135-136.

68-135-2.jpg (353044 bytes) 68-136-1.jpg (314495 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), #68, pp. 135-136.

68-1.jpg (260802 bytes) 68-2.jpg (675126 bytes)

Note.

According to a note in 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, this hymn is not in the Sarum, but occurs in the York Hymnal.

See the notes under the full hymn, Agnoscat omne saeculum.

This translation is of the first two stanzas of an eight stanza poem. The full hymn has been translated by the following:

Prime. "Let Every Age And Nation Own." [Assigned by Neale to "Christmas-First Hour."]
Terce. "The Virgin Mary Hath Conceived." [Assigned by Neale to "Christmas-Third Hour."]
Sext. "He, By Whose Hand The Light Was Made." [Assigned by Neale to "Christmas-Sixth Hour."]
None. "Now The Old Adam's Sinful Stain." [Assigned by Neale to "Christmas-Ninth Hour."]

If we combine these versions, omitting the third stanza in each one (a doxology, and not part of the original hymn) we would have:

1. Let every age and nation own
That life's reward at length is shewn ;
The Foe's hard yoke is cast away,
Redemption hath appeared to-day.

2. Isaiah's strains fulfilment meet,
And in the Virgin are complete :
The Angel's tongue hath called her blest :
The Holt Ghost hath filled her breast.

3. The Virgin Mary hath conceived
By that true word which she believed ;
And Whom the wide world cannot hold,
A spotless maiden's arms enfold.

4. Now buds the flower of Jesse's root ;
Now Aaron's rod puts out its fruit ;
She sees her offspring rise to view,
The Mother, yet the Virgin too.

5. He, by Whose Hands the Light was made,
Deigns in a manger to be laid ;
He with His Father made the skies,
And by His Mother swaddled lies.

6. He that once gave the Law to men,
And wrote it in Commandments Ten,
Himself man's nature deigns to share,
The fetters of the Law to wear.

7. Now the Old Adam's sinful stain
Doth the New Adam cleanse again ;
And what the first by pride o'erthrew
This lowliest One uprears anew.

8. Now light is come, Salvation shewn,
And night repelled, and Death o'erthrown ;
Approach, ye nations ! own this morn,
That God of Mary hath been born.

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