O Light of Light Love Given Birth

This hymn about light is based on a 10th century Latin hymn, "O Nata Lux de Lumine".   Based on Luke 9, it is particularly suitable for the feast of the Transfiguration.

It was translated by English artist, writer and social-justice activist, Laurence Housman (1865-1959), and first published in 1906.      These dates mean it is likely considered to be in the public domain in the USA, but still copyright in many other places.

With Long Meter (88 88), tunes it has been set to include:
  • WHITEHALL by Henry Lawes
  • ELMHURST by Cary Ratcliffe
  • JESU DULCIS MEMORIA - A Sarum melody from the 7th century


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Choir with piano and synthesiser, tune JESU DULCIS MEMORIA:

Singer, self-accompanied on organ, tune ELMHURST :

Choir with organ, professional recording, tune ELMHURST - professional recording:


Modernized version

O Light of Light, Love given birth;
Jesus, Redeemer of the earth;
More bright than day your face did show,
Your raiment whiter than the snow.

 Two prophets, who had faith to see,
With your elect found company;
The heavens above your glory named,
Your Father's voice his Son proclaimed.

 May all who seek to praise aright
Through purer lives show forth your light.
To you, the King of glory now
All faithful hearts adoring bow.

Original version

O Light of light, by love inclined,
Jesus, Redeemer of mankind,
With loving-kindness deign to hear
From suppliant voices praise and prayer.

Thou who to raise our souls from hell
Didst deign in fleshly form to dwell,
Vouchsafe us, when our race is run,
In thy fair body to be one.

More bright than day thy face did show,
Thy raiment whiter than the snow,
When on the mount to mortals blest
Man's maker thou was manifest.

Two prophets, that had faith to see,
With thine elect found company,
Where unto each, divinely shown,
The Godhead veiled in form was known.

The heavens above his glory named,
The Father's voice his Son proclaimed;
To whom, the King of glory now,
All faithful hearts adoring bow.

May all who seek thy praise aright
Through purer lives show forth thy light;
So to the brightness of the skies
By holy deeds our hearts shall rise.

Eternal God, to thee we raise,
The King of kings, our hymn of praise,
Who Three in One and One in Three
Doth live and reign eternally.

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