The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Heavenly Wisdom, Hear Our Cry

For Advent

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 'O' 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:

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