O Heavenly Wisdom, Hear Our Cry
December 16, called O Sapientia
This is one in a series of seven hymns based on The Seven Great 'O' Antiphons.
Words: "O Sapientia," one of the Great
Antiphons for Advent
Translation by Rev. John Mason Neale
And See: O Sapientia by Abbott Prosper Louis Guéranger, O.S.B.
Music: "Old Melody" from The Hymnary, #119.
See: Notes on Veni, Veni, Emmanuel
Source: Rev. John Mason Neale, Hymns For Children. A Third Series. (1854), Third
Edition (London: Joseph Masters, 1867), pp. 5-6.
See: Christmas in Neale's Hymns for Children
O Wisdom, Which camest forth out of the mouth of the Most High, and reachest from one end to the other, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come, and teach us the way of prudence.
1. O Heavenly Wisdom, hear our cry,
Thou Everlasting Son :
Who with the Father God Most High,
Art now and ever one!
2. Ere Thou hadst formed the lower part
Of all the world we see,
Before the Heavens were made, -— Thou art;
And when they fail, shalt be.
3. Ere Thou hadst called mankind Thine Own,
And made them Thy delight,
Thou satest by the Father’s Throne,
Rejoicing in His sight.
4. Thou mad’st the waters like a robe
To gird the solid land ;
The wandering stars, the firm fix’d globe,
Were formed by Thy Right Hand.
5. Come, Heav’nly Wisdom, from on high,
And give us that we need:
Unloose our ear, unseal our eye,
And make us Thine indeed!
6. We wait in faith, we wait in prayer,
Until the happy morn
When Thou shalt come our flesh to share,
And for our sakes be born.
7. To God on high be honour done:
And equal glory be
To the True Wisdom, God the Son,
And Holy Ghost, to Thee!
Sheet Music from William Cooke and Benjamin Webb, eds., The Hymnary – A Book of Church Song (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., 1872), #119, p. 100.
Also found in Mary Sackville Lawson, et al, eds., Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols of John Mason Neale (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), pp. 342-343, citing 1 Corinthians 1:24: "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (KJV).
This is the first of a series of hymns based on the Great Advent Antiphons. The others are:
December 17, called O Adonai
O Thou, Who Camedst Down of Old, #120, pp. 100-101.
December 18, called O Radix Jesse
O Root of Jesse, Thou On Whom, #121, p. 101.
December 19, called O Clavis David
O Key of David, Hailed by Those, #122, p. 102.
December 20, called O Oriens
O Very God of Very God, #123, pp. 102-103.
December 22, called O Rex Gentium
O Thou, On Whom the Nations Wait, #124, p. 103.
December 23, called O Immanuel
O Thou, Whose Name is “God With Us”, #125, p. 104.