The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Thou, Who Camedst Down of Old

For Advent

December 17, called O Adonai

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

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

Music: "Old Melody" from The Hymnary, #120.

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. 6-7.
See: Christmas in Neale's Hymns for Children

O Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel, Who appearedst unto Moses in a flame of fire in the bush, and gavest unto him the Law in Sinai: Come, and redeem us with a stretched-our arm.

1. O Thou, Who camest down of old
    To bring Salvation nigh,
What time the people of Thy Fold
    Sent up a bitter cry:

2. Thy servant turn’d aside with awe,
    And that great wonder learnt;
A bush that flam’d with fire he saw,
    That yet was never burnt.

3. When Israel thought that hope was o’er,
    And fear seiz’d every mind,
And the Red Sea was stretched before,
    And Pharaoh’s host behind:

4. Thou didst not leave them in their need,
    Nor let their prayer be vain:
But sent’st a strong east wind with speed
    To cleave the waves in twain:

5. And Judah like a flock of sheep,
    Passed on, though weak and few;
But Pharaoh’s chariots in the deep,
    Thy Right Hand overthrew.

6 Come, Saviour, now! and from their foes
    Set free the sons of men;
For they are mightier far than those
    That threaten’d Israel then.

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, for ever to be fear’d,
    All praise and glory be;
To Him that in the bush appear’d,
    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), #120, pp. 100-101.


Also found in Mary Sackville Lawson, et al, eds., Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols of John Mason Neale (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), pp. 343-344, citing Exodus 3:14: "And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you."  (KJV).

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.