This hymn was used for Vespers on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (July 2 at that time) in the Sarum Breviary.
This is the text of this hymn as it appeared in the 1906 edition of The English Hymnal:
Now in holy celebration
Sing we of that Mother blest,
In whose flesh for men’s salvation
God incarnate deigned to rest,
When a kindred salutation
Named in faith the mystic Guest.
Lo, the advent Word confessing,
Spake for joy the voice yet dumb,
Through his mother’s lips addressing
Her, of motherhood the sum,-
Bower of beauty, blest and blessing,
Crowned with fruit of Life to come.
‘Whence,’ she cried, at that fair meeting,
‘Comes to me this great reward?
For when first I heard the greeting
Of the Mother of my Lord,
In my womb, the joy repeating,
Leapt my babe in sweet accord!’
Lo, at that glad commendation
Joy found voice in Mary’s breast
While in holy exultation
She her Maker’s power confest,
At whose word each generation
Now henceforward names her blest.
Triune Godhead, health supplying,
Ruler of eternity,
On the Fount of grace relying,
We uplift our hearts to thee,
Praying that in realms undying
We at one with Life may be. Amen.
Words: Anonymous, 15th C., from the Sarum Breviary; tr. Laurence Housman, 1906.
Tune: “Grafton” French Church Melody.
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.