When Jesus Comes to be Baptized

This is a hymn about Jesus' baptism.

The words of the first three verses are attributed to the Benedictines of Stanbrook Abbey (first published in either 1971 or 1974) - the exact author is unknown. Two additional verses were added in 1989, again author unknown, but the copyright is owned by Concacan, Inc which is a charitable company set up by the Canadian Conference Of Catholic Bishops.

With long meter (LM), tunes it is set to includeL
  • ST VENANTIUS - Melody from Paris 'Antiphoner' 1681; Rouen Church Melody, 16th or 17th century
  • WINCHESTER NEW - from Musikalisches Handbuch der geistlichen Melodien, published in Hamburg, Germany, in 1690, adapted by William H Havergal (1793-1870) - the most-commonly used tune outside monastic communities
  • HERONGATE - a traditional English tune, composer unknown.

Hymn-books which the hymn has been published in include:
  • The Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal, 1974 revision
  • Laudate by Decani Music, tune TBA
  • Hymns Old and New Catholic Edition 2009 - set to ST VENANTIUS
  • The Canadian Catholic Book of Worship II and III - set to WINCHESTER NEW
  • The Australian Catholic Worship Book II
Most recorded versions use the WINCHESTER NEW tune, and sheet music for this text set to WINCHESTER NEW is available from OCP Publications (link below).


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Choir with organ, tune WINCHESTER NEW

Choir and congregation, with organ. Tune WINCHESTER NEW:

Gospel-style version, solo singer with electronic keyboard. Unnamed tune:

Instrumental, electronic organ. Tune ST VENANTIUS:

Lead singer,unaccompanied, tune WINCHESTER NEW:


The lyrics may still be copyright so have not been reproduced here. But they are currently available on this website. A rough outline is:
1.  When Jesus comes to be baptized, He leaves the hidden years behind ...

2.  The Spirit of the Lord comes down, anoints the Christ to suffering ...

3.  He will not quench the dying flame, and what is bruised he will not break ...

4.  Our everlasting Father, praise, with Christ, his well-beloved Son ...

See more ...

When Jesus comes to be baptised,
He leaves the hidden years behind,
The years of safety and of peace.
To bear the sins of humankind.

The Spirit of the Lord comes down,
Anoints the Christ to suffering,
To preach the word, to free the bound,
And to the mourner, comfort bring.

He will not quench the dying flame,
And what is bruised he will not break,
But heal the wound injustice dealt,
And out of death his triumph make.

Our everlasting Father, praise,
With Christ, his well-beloved Son,
Who with the Spirit reigns serene,
Untroubled Trinity in One.

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