The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Heavenly Word, Eternal Light

During Matins, For Advent

Latin: Verbum supernum prodiens, Anonymous "Ambrosian," 5th or 6th Century, with notes;
Translator: John Mason Neale, alt.

Other Translations:
Thy Father's Bosom Thou Didst Leave
Celestial Word, To This Our Earth

Music: "Verbum supernum prodiens"
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
"plainsong, Mode 2, Nevers MS, 13th century"

Alternates: "O Heiland, reiss"
"melody from Reinfelsisches Deutsches Catholisches Gesangbuch, 1666"
"Leipsic," J. H. Schein (1586-1630)
Meter: LM

Source: W. H. Monk and C. Steggall, eds., Hymns Ancient and Modern (London, William Clowes and Sons, Old Edition, 1889), Hymn 46

Compare #63 and 64 in The Hymnal 1982
(Lyrics copyright)

1. O heavenly Word, Eternal Light,
Begotten of the Father's Might,
Who in these latter days art born
For succour to a world forlorn.

2. Our hearts enlighten from above,
And kindle with Thine own true love,
That we, who hear Thy call today,
May cast earth's vanities away.

3. And when as Judge Thou drawest nigh
The secrets of our hearts to try,
When sinners meet their awful doom,
And Saints attain their heavenly home;

4. O let us not, for evil past,
Be driven from Thy Face at last,
But with the blessed evermore
Behold Thee, love Thee, and adore.

5. To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Praise, honor, might and glory be
From age to age eternally.

Sheet Music from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #28, p. 40
"Original melody from the Salisbury Hymnal
Harmonized by Hermann R. Schrúder"

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