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Second Hymn of Christmas: Of the Father’s Love Begotten

This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series

"12 Hymns of Christmas"

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Almost as ancient as “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” this hymn is probably more well-known. “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” was written in the fourth century by Marcus Aurelius Prudentius, a poet from northern Spain, and translated into English in 1851 by John Mason Neale as part of the Oxford Movement. This hymn is full of rich incarnation themes, delighting in the full deity of Christ, fitting since denial of Christ’s full deity and humanity was on the rise during the time.

The tune, DIVINUM MYSTERIUM, is one of the oldest still in common use today, dating from the 13th century.

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!

O that birth forever blessed,
when a virgin, full of grace,
by the Holy Ghost conceiving,
bore the Savior of our race;
and the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
first revealed his sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him,
angel hosts, His praises sing,
pow’ers, dominions, bow before Him,
and extol our God and King;
let no tongue on earth be silent,
ev’ery voice in concert ring
evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father
and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
and unwearied praises be:
honor, glory, and dominion,
and eternal victory
evermore and evermore!

Download this hymn.

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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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