Holy Light on Earth’s Horizon

This hymn about the Immaculate Conception is often used on the 8th of December.

Although some publications credit it as a translation by Edward Caswall, it is not in his usual style, and there is a credible argument that it was actually written by Benedictine monk Dom Fabian Duggan, who was at the time at Fort Augustus Abbey in the Scottish highlands, but was originally from Australia (ref).   This claim is supported by this article which Duggan himself wrote.

With meter of 87 87 D, it was originally set to the tune ALMA LUX by Dom Bernard Sole OSB.  Other tunes that it has been set to include:
  • LUX EOI by Arthur Sullivan (1874)
  • LOCHLEVEN - from The Sacred Melodeon, 1848
  • BLAENWERN by William Penfro Rowlands (1860–1937)
  • HYFRYDOL by Rowland H. Prichard (1830)
  • ABBOTS LEIGH by Cyril Vincent Taylor (1907-1991)
  • TOUCH OF HEAVEN; Fr. J. Roel Lungay, © 1997
  • ODE TO JOY, Beethoven



Contemporary arrangement, tune TOUCH OF HEAVEN

Unaccompanied singer, tune ODE to JOY

Instrumental - BLAENWERN


Holy light on earth’s horizon,
Star of hope to those who fall,
Light amid a world of shadows,
Dawn of God’s design for all,
Chosen from eternal ages,
You alone of all our race,
By your Son’s atoning merits
Were conceived in perfect grace.

Mother of the world’s Redeemer,
Promised from the dawn of time:
How could one so highly favored
Share the guilt of Adam’s crime?
Sun and moon and stars adorn you,
Sinless Eve, triumphant sign;
You it is who crushed the serpent,
Mary, pledge of life divine.

Earth below and highest heaven,
Praise the splendour of your state,
You who now are crowned in glory
Were conceived immaculate.
Hail, beloved of the Father,
Mother of his only Son,
Mystic bride of Love eternal,
Hail, O fair and spotless one!

See also

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