Of The Father’s Love Begotten

This hymn was used for Compline on the Nativity of the Lord and during Christmastide in the York Breviary. It was also used in sections for Prime, Terce, Sext & None from the Nativity of the Lord to the Feast of the Circumcision in the Hereford Breviary.

This is the text as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867) and based on the text as it appears in the Hereford Breviary:

Of the Father’s Love begotten,
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore!

At His Word the worlds were framèd;
He commanded; it was done:
Heaven and earth and depths of ocean,
In their threefold order one;
All that grows beneath the shining
Of the moon and burning sun,
evermore and evermore!

He is found in human fashion,
Death and sorrow here to know,
That the race of Adam’s children,
Doomed by Law to endless woe,
May not henceforth die and perish
In the dreadful gulf below,
Evermore and evermore!

O that Birth forever blessèd,
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bare the Saviour of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred Face,
Evermore and evermore!

This is He Whom seers in old time
Chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the Prophets
Promised in their faithful word:
Now He shines, the long expected:
Let creation praise its Lord,
Evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven, adore Him!
Angel-hosts, His praises sing!
(1)All dominions bow before Him
And extol our God and King:—
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring(2),
Evermore and evermore!

Righteous Judge of souls departed!
Righteous King of them that live!
On the Father’s Throne exalted
None in might with Thee may strive;
Who at last in vengeance coming
Sinners from Thy Face shalt drive,
Evermore and evermore!

Thee let old men, Thee let young men,
Thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens
With glad voices answering;
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its music bring,
Evermore and evermore!

Christ! to Thee with God the Father,
And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee!
Hymn, and chant; with high thanksgiving,
And unwearied praises be,
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory,
Evermore and evermore!

Words: Aurelius Prudentius, 5th Century; tr. John Mason Neale, 1854 & Henry W. Baker, 1859.
Tune: Divinum Mysterium” 11th Century Sanctus trope.
Meter: 15.15.8.15

Here are some alternate wordings I’ve come across:
(1)Powers, dominions, bow before Him,
(2)sing

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

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About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in 3. The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, Breviaries, Christmas, Compline, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Hymns By The Greats, John Mason Neale, Non-English Hymns, None, Offices of the Breviary, Other Breviaries, Prime, Sext, Terce, The Church Year, The Holy Rosary, The Joyful Mysteries, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Of The Father’s Love Begotten

  1. Pingback: Corde Natus Ex Parentis | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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