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The heavenly Word proceeding forth

The heavenly Word proceeding forth

Author: St. Thomas, Aquinas; Translator: J. M. Neale
Communion Songs
Published in 18 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 The heavenly Word proceeding forth
Yet leaving not his Father’s side,
And going to his work on earth,
Had reached at length life’s eventide.

2 By false disciple to be given
To foemen for his blood athirst,
Himself, the living bread from heaven,
He gave to his disciples first.

3 In twofold form of sacrament,
He gave his flesh, he gave his blood,
That man, of soul and body blent,
Might wholly feed on mystic food.

4 In birth man's fellow-man was he,
His meat while sitting at the board;
He died, our ransomer to be,
He reigns to be our great reward.

Part 2 O salutaris hostia

5 O saving Victim, opening wide
The gate of heaven to man below;
Our foes press hard on every side,
Thine aid supply, thy strength bestow.

6 All praise and thanks to thee ascend
For evermore, blest One in Three;
O grant us life that shall not end,
In our true native land with thee. Amen.

Source: The New English Hymnal #269a

Author: St. Thomas, Aquinas

Thomas of Aquino, confessor and doctor, commonly called The Angelical Doctor, “on account of," says Dom Gueranger, "the extraordinary gift of understanding wherewith God had blessed him," was born of noble parents, his father being Landulph, Count of Aquino, and his mother a rich Neapolitan lady, named Theodora. The exact date of his birth is not known, but most trustworthy authorities give it as 1227. At the age of five he was sent to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino to receive his first training, which in the hands of a large-hearted and God-fearing man, resulted in so filling his mind with knowledge and his soul with God, that it is said the monks themselves would often approach by stealth to hear the words of piety and wisdo… Go to person page >

Translator: J. M. 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 >

Text Information

First Line: The heavenly Word proceeding forth
Latin Title: Verbum supernum prodiens
Translator: J. M. Neale
Author: St. Thomas, Aquinas
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Communion Songs



Instances (1 - 6 of 6)

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #242

AudioPage Scan

Common Praise #326

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #253


The Cyber Hymnal #2683


The New English Hymnal #269a

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #269b

Include 12 pre-1979 instances
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