Hail this Joyful Day's Return

This is a joyful hymn for Pentecost.

The words were translated by Robert Campbell (1814-1868) from Beata Nobis Gaudia, a 4th century work by Hilary of Poitiers. It was first published in 1850.

Hymn books where it has been published include:
  • St. Andrew's Hymnal (1850)
  • Scottish Episcopal Collection (1858)
  • Annus Sanctus, Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year, (1884)
  • A Treasury of Catholic Song (1915)
  • Hymns and Songs of Praise for Public and Social Worship (1874)
  • The Nigerian Catholic Hymn Book (1976) - using modern language
  • Hymnal according to the use of the Episcopal Church (1982)

With meter (sometimes with Alleluias), tunes it has been set to include:
  • SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT - adapted from a fifteenth-century folk song for use in a hymnal in 1566
  • BEATA NOBIS GAUDIA - plainsong in Mode 1 from the 14th century.

Note, however, that the early publications set it as three verses on eight lines, so likely used different tunes.


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Very small choir, unaccompanied:

Congregation singing SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT, accompanied by organ

Singer, unaccompanied chant with words on-screen, tune BEATA NOBIS GAUDIA

Instrumental - organ, with words on-screen, tune SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT


Hail, this joyful day's return;
Hail, the pentecostal morn.
Morn when our ascended head,
On his Church his Spirit shed.

Like the golden tongues of flame,
On the twelve the Spirit came ;
Tongues, that earth may hear their call;
Fire, that love may burn in all.

Hear the speech before unknown.
Trembling crowds the wonder own;
What though hardened some abide.
And the holy work deride?

Mystic hour, when Easter's sun.
Seven times seven its course hath run;
Church of Christ from Debt made free,
Hail thy day of jubilee.

Lord, to thee thy people bend,
Unto us thy Spirit send;
Blessings of this sacred day
Grant us, dearest Lord, we pray.

Thou who didst our fathers guide.
With their children still abide;
Grant us pardon, grant us peace,
Till our earthly wanderings cease.

To the Father praises sing,
Praise to Christ our risen king,
Praise to thee, the Lord of love.
Blessed Spirit, holy Dove.

Note some tunes have a 5th line in each verse, containing the word "Alleluia!"

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