We ask for donations here just twice a year, and this is one of those times. So, before you hit the "close" button on this box, would you consider a donation to keep Hymnary.org going? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do.

Last month, our Hymnary website had almost 1 million visitors from around the world: people like you who love hymns. To serve our users well takes money, and we have limited sources of revenue. This fund drive is one such source.

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, or you can click the Donate button below. From the entire Hymnary.org team, our grateful thanks.

Ave verum corpus

Representative Text

Ave verum Corpus natum de Maria Virgine:
Vere passum immolatum in cruce pro homine:
Cuius latus perforatum fluxit aqua et sanguine:
Esto nobis praegustatum mortis in examine.
O Jesu dulcis!
O Jesu pie!
O Jesu fili Mariae.


Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary,
the very Body which suffered and was sacrificed
on the cross for humankind,
and whose pierced side overflowed with water and blood:
In the agony of death be for us a foretaste of heaven,
O kind and loving Jesus, son of Mary.

Source: Worship (4th ed.) #929


Ave verum corpus natum. Anon. [Holy Communion.] The text will be found in Daniel, ii. p. 327. Also as No. 213 in Mone’s Collection; with the heading, In elevatione Corporis Christi, and the statement that a Reichenau manuscript of the 14th century, says "Pope Innocent composed the following salutation" ("Salutationem sequentem composuit Innocentius Papa"), and "this prayer has three years of indulgences granted by Pope Leo" ("haec oratio habet tres annos indulgentiaruni a dom. Papa Leone"). Levis, Anecdota sacra, Turin, 1789, p. 107, gives the text with the variation Esto nobis praestantior virtus in examine, instead of Esto nobis praegustatum mortis in examine. It is in J. M. Horst's Paradisus Animae (ed. Cologne, 1644, p. 321), Sect. V., "De Sacram. Eucharistiae," as a private devotion at the elevation of the Host in the Mass ("sub elevatione "). It is also in Kehrein, No. 157. See Ave Christi Corpus verum, for a cognate hymn at the elevation of the Chalice. [Rev.W. A. Shoults, B.D.]
Translations in common use:—
1. Hail to Thee! true Body sprung. By E. Caswall. First published in his Lyra Catholica, 1849, p. 249, in 10 lines; and again, slightly altered, in his Hymns & Poems, 1873, p. 162. In the Roman Catholic hymnals the original translation is generally used. In the People's Hymnal1867, No. 177, we have a cento from this translation of Caswall, that by J. R. Beste, and others.
2. Hail, true Body, born of Mary, No. 214 in
the Appendix to Hymnal Noted, 1864, is by H. N. Oxenham, from his Sentence of Kaires and other Poems, 1854 and 1867, somewhat altered.
3. Hail, true Body Incarnated, by W. J. Irons, is No. 67 of his Psalms & Hymns for the Church, 1873 and 1883. This rendering is specially adapted for Good Friday. First published in Dr. Irons's Hymns, 1866, No. 113.
4. Hail, true Body! God of heaven. By J. K. Beste, published with the Latin text in his Church Hymns (Rom. Cath.) London, 1849. It maybe added that in most of the modern Roman Catholic collections the Latin text is also given, as in this case.
Translation not in common use:—
Hail, true Body, born of Mary. E. B. Pusey, 1848.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Ave verum corpus natum, p. 99, ii. Also in a manuscript of circa 1340 in the Bodleian (Liturg. Misc., 104, f. 2.).

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)



Instances (1 - 6 of 6)

Breaking Bread (Vol. 39) #347

RitualSong (2nd ed.) #1043

RitualSong #908


Worship (3rd ed.) #730


Worship (4th ed.) #929

Worship (4th ed.) #930

Include 30 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.