29 March 2014

Verbum supernum prodiens

I have found it spiritually beneficial to sing, read, or pray the hymn Verbum supernum prodiens (not the St. Thomas Aquinas' text) whether in Latin or English at least once a day of late.  

It is very beautiful chanted in Latin, and there are several chant melodies for it in the body of Gregorian and Ambrosian chant. And there are several chant settings in the various Anglican hymnals that do a fine job of pairing English translation to the original tunes.

The Church uses this text as an Advent Hymn.  There is another text of the same title by St. Thomas Aquinas that includes the famous verses 'O Salutaris Hostia'. But my interest has been in this older text now used in the Office of Readings in Advent.

The following translation is by George R. Woodward, the editor of the influential Anglican hymnal Songs of Syon :

[There is an alternative to the final verse that appears in the 3rd Edition of Songs of Syon:  "To God the Father, God the Son, / And God the Spirit, Three in One, / Laud, honour, might, and glory be / from age to age eternally."]

To Him Who comes the world to free, / To God on high all glory be!