The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Very God of Very God

For Advent

December 20, called O Oriens

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

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

Music: "Richard Redhead"

See: Notes on Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

Source: Rev. John Mason Neale, Hymns For Children. A Third Series. (1854), Third Edition (London: Joseph Masters, 1867),  p. 9.
See: Christmas in Neale's Hymns for Children

O Orient, Brightness of the Eternal Light, and Sun of Righteousness: Come, and lighten them that sit I darkness, and in the shadow of death.

1. O Very God of very God,
    And very Light of Light,
Whose feet this earth’s dark valley trod,
    That so it might be bright;

2. Our hopes are weak, our fears are strong,
    Thick darkness blinds our eyes;
Cold is the night, and oh, we long
    That Thou, our Sun, wouldst rise !

3. And even now, though dull and grey,
    The east is brightening fast,
And kindling to the perfect day,
    That never shall be past.

4. Oh, guide us till our path is done,
    And we have reach’d the shore
Where Thou, our Everlasting Sun,
    Art shining evermore!

5. We wait in faith, and turn our face
    To where the daylight springs,
Till Thou shalt come, our gloom to chase,
    With healing in Thy wings.

6 To God the Father power and might
    Both now and ever be :
To Him that is the Light of Light,
    And, Holy Ghost, to Thee!

Sheet Music to "Richard Redhead" from William Cooke and Benjamin Webb, eds., The Hymnary – A Book of Church Song (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., 1872), #123, p. 102.


Also found in Mary Sackville Lawson, et al, eds., Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols of John Mason Neale (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), pp. 345-346, citing John 1:9: "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."  (KJV).

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