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Hail, true Body, born of Mary

Hail, true Body, born of Mary

Translator: Henry Nutcombe Oxenham
Communion Songs
Published in 13 hymnals

Representative Text

1 Hail, true Body, born of Mary,
by a wondrous virgin-birth.
You who on the Cross were offered
to redeem us all on earth;

2 You whose side became a fountain
pouring forth your precious blood,
give us now, and at our dying,
your own self to be our food.

O kindest Jesu, O gracious Jesu,
O Jesu, O Jesu, blessed Mary's Son.

Source: Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #260a

Translator: Henry Nutcombe Oxenham

Oxenham, Henry Nutcombe, M.A., was born at Harrow in 1829, educated at Harrow, and Balliol College, Oxford (B.A. 1850, M.A. 1854). He was in 1856 curate of St. Bartholomew, Cripplegate, London. After joining the Church of Rome in 1857 he was for some time master at St. Edmund's College near Ware, and then at the Oratory School, Birmingham. He died March 23, 1888. His hymns and translations are principally in his Manual of Devotions for the Blessed Sacrament, 1854, and his Sentence of Kaires, 1854 (2nd ed. 1867). [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.] --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hail, true Body, born of Mary
Translator: Henry Nutcombe Oxenham
Meter: Irregular
Source: Latin, 14th century
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Communion Songs


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:—

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.

Translation not in common use:—
Hail, true Body, born of Mary. E. B. Pusey, 1848.

-- Excerpt from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 7 of 7)

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #281


Common Praise #302a


Common Praise #302b


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #260a


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #260b

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #268


The New English Hymnal #289

Include 6 pre-1979 instances
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