Advent hymn Latin origin
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 338
    There is a hymn in the 1920 St. Gregory hymnal for Advent, "Behold! behold He Cometh". The hymnal indicates it was translated from the Latin. Does anyone know which Latin hymn?
  • I wonder... if it might be from an old ancient sequence? Ecce Venit or something similar? It is strange - I looked in several sources where I would expect to find information on the underlying text, but they all simply indicate "translated from the Latin". Good question!
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  • What is the first stanza (in English) after that first line? There must be other hymns but the only two that come right to my mind are Conditor alme siderum (Vespers hymn for Advent) and Vox clara ecce intonat (Lauds). If you could provide more text of the hymn I might be able to figure it out. No promises though! Hopefully others will chime in too.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,367
    76. 76. 88

    1 Behold! behold He cometh,
    Who doth salvation bring;
    Lift up hour heads rejoicing,
    And welcome Zion's King;
    With hymns of joy we praise the Lord,
    Hosanna to th' Incarnate Word!

    2 Hosanna to the Saviour,
    Who came on Christmas morn,
    And, of a lowly Virgin,
    Was in a stable born;
    Immanuel! Blessed Jesus! come!
    Within Thy children make Thy home.

    3 Yea, come in love and meekness
    Our Saviour now to be;
    Come to be formed in us,
    And make us like to Thee,
    Before the Day of Wrath draw near,
    When, as our Judge, Thou shalt appear.

    4 Soon shalt Thou sit in glory
    Upon "the great White Throne,"
    And punish all the wicked,
    And recompense Thine own;
    When every word and deed and thought
    To righteous judgment shall be bright.

    5 Here, good and bad are mingled;
    But on that Judgment Day
    The Angels shall divide them,
    And take the bad away;
    Grant, Lord, that we be faithful found
    When the last trumpet-call shall sound!

  • Where did you find this, Chuck?
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Hymnary and St. Gregory Hymnal online (which is a different area of Hymnary); are all search engine results.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,367
    I found the text at, as well as the somewhat different text:

    from "Songs of Pilgrimage: a hymnal for the churches of Christ‎" (2nd ed. 1888) p. 439

    76. 76. D with Refrain 77. 76

    Zech. ix. 9.

    Behold, behold, He cometh,
    The everlasting King!
    O earth, rejoice to meet Him,
    O floods, his praises sing!
    He comes to bring his glory,
    And make our sorrows cease;
    O earth, take up the story,
    And hail the Prince of Peace!

    All hail, thou King of Glory,
    We wave our palms before thee,
    With angel throngs adore thee,
    And crown the Lord of all.

    Behold, behold, He cometh,
    To wipe away our tears;
    Long have we waited for him,
    Lo, he our God appears!
    The King in all his beauty
    Soon shall our eyes behold,
    And dwell in his fair city,
    And walk the streets of gold.

    Behold, behold, He cometh,
    With many~a flaming crown;
    All kingdoms fall before him,
    Before him kings bow down:
    Angels and men adoring,
    Low at his footstool fall,
    With singing go before him,
    And crown him Lord of all.

    Behold, behold, He cometh!
    At midnight sounds the cry;
    Ye virgins, rise to meet him,
    The bridegroom draweth nigh:
    Oh, let your lamps be burning,
    Oh, watch,. and wit, and sing,
    Till Christ, from heav'n returning,
    The crown of life shall bring.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 338
    The word of the hymn were translated by Claudia Francis Hernaman (1838-1898) and the St. Gregory Hymnal indicates the hymn as a Processional. Thanks to CHGiffen for posting the words. There is a nice recording on the Devotional Hymns website

    From what I've been able to research Claudia was a poet, author and composed more than 150 hymn. Some of Claudia's translations appear in "The Altar Hymnal" of 1885. It was an Anglo-Catholic hymnal with songs to be used at the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist. I was able to locate the hymnal at The melody was composed by Samuel Webbe. I think today the hymn tune is called "Immanuel".

    However, I haven't been able to locate the Latin origin of the hymn.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • It is strikingly similar in many respects to the hymn by Laurentius Laurenti, "Rejoice, rejoice believers."

    1. Rejoice, rejoice, believers,
    and let your lights appear.
    The evening is advancing,
    and darker night is near.
    The Bridegroom is arising,
    and soon He draweth nigh.
    Up, pray, and watch, and wrestle:
    At midnight comes the cry.

    2. See that your lamps are burning;
    replenish them with oil.
    And wait for your salvation,
    the end of earthly toil.
    The watchers on the mountain
    proclaim the Bridegroom near.
    Go meet Him as He cometh,
    with alleluias clear.

    3. O wise and holy virgins,
    now raise your voices higher,
    Until in songs of triumph
    ye meet the angel choir.
    The marriage feast is waiting,
    the gates wide open stand;
    Rise up, ye heirs of glory,
    the Bridegroom is at hand.

    4. Our hope and expectation,
    O Jesus, now appear!
    Arise, Thou sun so longed for,
    over this benighted sphere!
    With hearts and hands uplifted,
    we plead, O Lord, to see
    The day of earth’s redemption
    that brings us unto Thee.

    5. Ye saints, who here in patience
    your cross and sufferings bore,
    Shall live and reign forever,
    when sorrow is no more.
    Around the throne of glory
    the Lamb ye shall behold;
    In triumph cast before Him
    your diadems of gold!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 338
    liampmcdonough, I'm sorry I don't see the connection. What you posted references the Bridegroom which I don't associate with the Advent of the coming of Christ but His return. I also don't see how the verses could be a translation of the same Latin source. I agree it is similar to the somewhat different text post by CHGiffen, but not the original text.