November 17, 2013

Christ is the World’s Redeemer / Christ­us Re­demp­tor Om­ni­um

Iona Abbey

Christ is the World's Redeemer is a translation of the 6th century Latin hymn, Christ­us Re­demp­tor Om­ni­um (see below) by St. Columba (521-597). Born in Ireland, as a young man he entered Clonard Abbey under St. Finnian (470–549) where he took Holy Orders. In 563, he along with twelve companions crossed over to the island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland. There he converted the northern Picts to Christianity and established the Iona Abbey, a monastery that became a focal point of spirituality and learning. Christ­us Re­demp­tor Om­ni­um is one of several hymns that he wrote. The English translation is by the Reverend, Duncan MacGregor (1854-1923) and is set to the traditional Irish folk tune: Moville.

Tune: Moville

CHRIST IS THE WORLD’S REDEEMER by Dun­can Mac­Greg­or (Public Domain)

1. Christ is the world’s Redeemer,
The lover of the pure,
The Fount of heavenly wisdom,
Our trust and hope secure;
The Armor of His soldiers,
The Lord of earth and sky;
Our Health while we are living,
Our Life when we shall die.

2. Christ hath our host surrounded
With clouds of martyrs bright,
Who wave their palms in triumph,
And fire us for the fight.
Christ the red cross ascended,
To save a world undone,
And, suffering for the sinful,
Our full redemption won.

3. All glory to the Father,
The unbegotten One;
All honor be to Jesus,
His sole begotten Son;
And to the Holy Spirit -
The perfect Trinity.
Let all the worlds give answer,
“Amen—so let it be.”


Refrain: Christus lorica militum.
              Christus creator omnium.

1. Christus, redemptor gentium,
Christus, amator virginum,
Christus, fons sapientium,
Christus, fides credentium;

2. Christus, salus viventium
Et vita morientium,
Coronavit exercitum
Nostrum cum turba martyrum. 

3. Christus crucem ascenderat,
Christus mundum salvaverat,
Christus et nos redemerat,
Christus pro nobis passus est;

4. Christus infernum penetrat,
Christus caelum ascenderat,
Christus cum Deo sederat,
Ubi nunquam defuerat.

5. Gloria haec altissimo
Deo Patri ingenito,
Honor ac summo Filio,
Unico, unigenito,

6. Spirituique optimo,
Sancto, perfecto, sedujo;
Amen, fiat perpetua
In sempiterna saecula.

Refrain: In te, Christe, credentium
              Miserearis omnium;
              Tu es Deus in saecula
              Saeculorum in gloria. 

Latin text is from the collection: Latin Hymns (p.26) by Matthew Germing S.J., Loyola University Press, 1920

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