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O Unity of Threefold Light

O Unity of Threefold Light

Translator: John Mason Neale (1862); Author: Metrophanes of Smyrna (910)
Published in 12 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

O Unity of Threefold Light,
Send out Thy loveliest ray,
And scatter our transgressions’ night,
And turn it into day;
Make us those temples pure and fair,
Thy glory loveth well,
The spotless tabernacles, where
Thou may’st vouchsafe to dwell!

The glorious hosts of peerless might
That ever see Thy Face,


Thou mak’st the mirrors of Thy Light,
The vessels of Thy grace:
Thou, when their wondrous strain they weave,
Hast pleasure in the lay:
Deign thus our praises to receive,
Albeit from lips of clay!

And yet Thyself they cannot know,
Nor pierce the veil of light
That hides Thee from the Thrones below,
As in profoundest night:
How then can mortal accents frame
Due tribute to the King?
Thou, only, while we praise Thy Name,
Forgive us as we sing!

Hymns of the Eastern Church, 1866

Translator: John Mason Neale

John M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome; in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive; of scholarly tem­perament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area; often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi… Go to person page >

Author: Metrophanes of Smyrna

(no biographical information available about Metrophanes of Smyrna.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Unity of Threefold Light
Author: Metrophanes of Smyrna (910)
Translator: John Mason Neale (1862)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


OLD 22nd

LAMBETH (Schulthes)

This tune has been mis-attributed to various other composers, but is clearly the work of the above-named composer.

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TUNE 584



The Cyber Hymnal #5447
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  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
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Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #5447

Include 11 pre-1979 instances
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