Come, thou Redeemer of the Earth

Middle age hymn from St Ambrose (c.340-97). St Ambrose was believed in the middle ages to have invented the hymn, but while this has been shown to be false he did write many, including this one. Translated into English by John Mason Neale.

Performed antiphonally by a choir. Sung only at first Nativity vespers on Christmas Eve.

John Mason Neale Lyrics

Come, thou Redeemer of the earth,
And manifest thy virgin birth
Let every age adoring fall:
Such birth befits the God of all.

Begotten of no human will,
But by the Spirit, Thou art still,
The Word of God in flesh arrayed,
The promised Fruit to man displayed.

The virgin womb that burden gained
With virgin honour all unstained;
The banners there of virtue glow;
God in His temple dwells below.

Forth from his chamber goeth he,
That royal home of purity,
A giant, in twofold substance one,
Rejoicing now his course to run.

From God the Father he proceeds,
To God the Father back he speeds;
His course he runs to death and hell,
God’s throne to dwell.

O equal to the Father, thou!
Gird on thy fleshly mantle now;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
And darkness breathe a newer light
Where endless faith shall shine serence
And twilight never intervene

All glory to the Father be;
Glory, enternal Son, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete. Amen.

Latin lyrics

Veni, Redemptor gencium,
Ostende partum virginis.
Miretur omne seculum:
Talis decest partus Deum.

Non ex virili semine
Sed mistico spiramine
Verbum Dei factum caro,
Fructusque ventris floruit.

Alvus tumescit virginis,
Claustra pudoris permanent;
Vexilla virtutum micant;
Versatur in templo Deus.

Procedens de thalamo suo,
Pudoris aula regia,
Gemine gigas substancie
Alacris ut currat viam.

Egressus eius a Patre,
Regressus eius ad Patrem;
Excursus usque ad inferos,
Recursus ad sedem Dei.

Equalis eterno Patri
Carnis tropheo accingere,
Ingirma nostri corporis
Virtute firmans perpetim.

Presepe iam fulget tuum,
Lumenque nox spirat novum
Quod nulla nox interpollet,
Fideque iugi laceat.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Eiusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
Et nunc et in perpetuum. Amen.