Verbum Supernum prodiens, Wee Patris linquens dexteram. St. Thomas of Aquino. [Holy Communion.] Written about 1263 for the office for use on Corpus Christi. It is found in the Roman (Venice, 1478, and, unchanged, in 1632), Mozarabic of 1502, Sarum, York, Aberdeen, Paris of 1736, and other Breviaries, its primary use being at Lauds on Corpus Christi. The text, in 5 stanzas and a doxology, is in Daniel, i. No. 241; Hymnarium Sarisburiense , 1851, p. 123, and others. The last stanza, 0 salutaris hostia, has often been used along with the doxology as a separate hymn, e.g., at the Benedicury, in the Bodleian; in a manuscript of the end of the 13th century, and a 14th century Sarum Breviary both in the British Museum; in a 13th century manuscript at St. Gall, 503, i., and others. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
The translations of this hymn are as follows:—
i. Verbum supernum prodiens Nec, &c.
1. The Word, descending from above. By E. Caswall, in his Lyra Catholica, 1849, p. 114, and his Hymns & Poems, 1873, p. 65. It is in the People's Hymnal, 1867. In the Hymner, 1882, it is rewritten as, "The Word proceeding from above."
2. The Word of God proceeding forth. By J. M. Neale, in the enlarged edition of the Hymnal Noted, 1854. In the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857, it begins, "The Word from His eternal home." Another altered form of the text is "The Heavenly Word proceeding forth," in Hymns Ancient & Modern., 1861 and 1875. In the Hymnary, 1872, Neale's translation is given with st. v., as in Hymns Ancient & Modern.
Other translations are:—
1. The eternal God, by human birth. Primer, 1706, and O. Shipley's Annus Sanctus. 1884.
2. The Word, Who ever sits at God's right hand. I. Williams. 1839.
3. The Word Supernal forth proceeds. Nor leaves, &c. A. D. Wackerbarth. 1842.
4. Word of God to earth descending. P. Campbell. 1850.
5. The Word Most Highest from above. W. J. Blew. 1852-55.
6. The Word Eternal going forth. J. A. Johnston. 1856 and 1861.
7. The Word supernal forth proceeds, Yet, &c. J. D. Chambers. 1857. In Skinner's Daily Service Hymnal, 1864, it is altered to "The Word of God from heaven proceeds."
8. Achieving what His wisdom plann'd. F. Trappes. 1865.
9. The eternal Word of God descends. J. Wallace. 1874.
10. The Word supernal, from the heavens descending. C. Kent, in O. Shipley's Annus Sanctus, 1884.
11. Proceeding forth, the Word supernal. J. D. Aylward, in 0. Shipley's Annus Sanctus, 1884.
ii. 0 salutaris Hostia.
The special use of this portion of the hymn is thus set forth in the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities:—
"A hymn sung during the Office called Benediction, at the moment when the Tabernacle is opened, in order that the Consecrated Host may be removed and placed in the Monstrance prepared for its solemn Exposition. "Sometimes also, though less frequently, '0 salutaris Hostia' is sung at High Mass, immediately after the Benedictus; not indeed as an integral part of the Mass itself, to which it does not properly belong, but in order to prevent the long and distracting pause which would otherwise ensue, when, as is frequently the case in Plain Chaunt Masses, the Benedictus is too short to fill up the time which must necessarily elapse between the Elevation of the Host and the Pater Noster."
This portion of the hymn is not usually translated distinct from the preceding verses, although in some books it is marked off from the rest by the introduction into the translation of the Latin line. The translations are:—
1. 0 saving Host, that heaven's high gate. Primer. 1706.
2. 0 Saving Host which Heaven's Gate. Evening Office. 1748.
3. 0 Saving Victim, pledge of love. Divine Office. 1763,
4. 0 hallow'd fount of bliss! to Thee. D. French. 1839.
5. 0 Lord, Who didst a willing Victim die. I. Williams. 1839.
6. 0! Victim of Salvation's cause. A. D. Wackerbarth. 1842.
7. 0 saving Victim! opening wide The gate of heaven, &c. E. Caswall. 1849.
8. Mighty Victim, earth's salvation. R. Campbell. 1850.
9. 0 saving Victim, slain to bless. J. M. Malt. 1854.
10. 0 healthful, saving Sacrifice. J. D. Chambers. 1852 and 1857.
11. 0 Saviour victim, Thine the power. S. N. Oxenham. 1854.
12. 0 Lamb of God! the Victim slain. J. A. Johnston. 1856 and 1861.
13. 0 Christ, most willing Victim slain. Salisbury Hymn Book. 1857. Altered from Neale. This in the Sarum Hymnal 1868, was again altered to "0 salutary Victim slain."
14. Hail, saving Host! Hail, source of love. T. J. Potter. 1858.
15. 0 saving Victim, worthy deem'd. F. Trappes. 1865.
16. 0 Thou health giving Sacrifice. W. J. Irons, in his Hymns, 1866, and his Psalms & Hymns, 1873-75.
17. 0 Victim of redeeming grace. J. Wallace. 1874.
18. 0 Host, salvation bringing. C. Kent, in 0. Shipley's Annus Sanctus. 1884.
19. 0 Victim of the world's salvation. J. D. Aylward, in 0. Shipley's Annus Sanctus, 1884.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)