22 April 2017

Returning again to "Verbum supernum prodiens"

Recently I have returned to the practice of singing and praying daily  the hymn Verbum supernum prodiens (not the St. Thomas Aquinas' text) whether in Latin or English.

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 in consideration of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as His first advent.  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."]


Quite apart from the above, I am also thinking of other settings of the two texts known as Verbum supernum prodiens. The two videos below are exceptionally beautiful examples:

Ingenium Ensemble

Damijan Močnik - Verbum supernum - Komorni zbor Ivan Filipović

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