The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Thou, On Whom the Nations Wait

For Advent

December 22, called O Rex Gentium

This is one in a series of seven hymns based on The Seven Great 'O' Antiphons.

Words: "O Rex Gentium," one of the Great O Antiphons for Advent
Translation by Rev.
John Mason Neale
See: O Rex Gentium by Abbott Prosper Louis Guéranger, O.S.B.

Music: "Old Melody" from The Hymnary, #124.

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. 10-11.
See: Christmas in Neale's Hymns for Children

O King of the Gentiles, and their Desire, the Corner-stone, Who madest both one: come, and save man, who Thou has made out of the dust of the earth.

1. O Thou, on Whom the Nations wait,
    And kingdoms far away,
Who midst the Gentiles shalt be great,
    When all men must obey:

2. Behold the lands where Satan reigns,
    Upon his cruel throne;
That sit in darkness and in chains,
    And worship wood and stone.

3. Thine ancient heritage behold,
    Thy faithful Abraham’s seed;
And join them to the holy Fold
    Wherein Thy ransom’d feed.

4. Far from the West bid hatred flee,
    And unbelief and pride ;
How long shall those that love not Thee
    Thy seamless coat divide?

5. How long wilt Thou forget the East,
    Where first Thy Truth was spread;
Where Bishops once Thy Name confessed,
    And holy Martyrs bled?

6. Lead sinners from the paths of sin,
    Let scorners hear Thy voice;
And let all heretics come in,
    And make Thy Church rejoice!

7. 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.

8. To God, the Mighty and the Just,
    All praise and glory be :
To Him in Whom the Isles shall trust,
    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), #124, p. 103.


Also found in Mary Sackville Lawson, et al, eds., Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols of John Mason Neale (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), pp. 346-347, citing Romans 2:10: "But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile..."  (KJV).

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