O Christ, Redeemer of our race

Representative Text

1 O Christ, Redeemer of our race,
thou brightness of the Father’s face,
of him, and with him ever one,
ere times and seasons had begun;

2 thou art that very Light of light,
unfailing hope in sin’s dark night,
hear thou the prayers thy people pray,
The wide world o’er, this blessèd day.

3 Remember, Lord of life and grace,
how once, to save a ruined race,
thou didst our very flesh assume
in Mary’s undefilèd womb.

4 Today, as year by year its light
sheds o’er the world a radiance bright,
one precious truth is echoed on,
’tis thou hast saved us, thou alone.

5 Thou from the Father’s throne didst come
to call his banished children home;
and heav’n, and earth, and sea, and shore
his love who sent thee here adore.

6 And gladsome too are we today,
whose guilt thy blood has washed away;
redeemed the new-made song we sing;
it is the birthday of our King.

7 O Lord, the virgin-born, to thee
eternal praise and glory be,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost forevermore.

Source: CPWI Hymnal #79

Translator: H. W. Baker

Baker, Sir Henry Williams, Bart., eldest son of Admiral Sir Henry Loraine Baker, born in London, May 27, 1821, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated, B.A. 1844, M.A. 1847. Taking Holy Orders in 1844, he became, in 1851, Vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire. This benefice he held to his death, on Monday, Feb. 12, 1877. He succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1851. Sir Henry's name is intimately associated with hymnody. One of his earliest compositions was the very beautiful hymn, "Oh! what if we are Christ's," which he contributed to Murray's Hymnal for the Use of the English Church, 1852. His hymns, including metrical litanies and translations, number in the revised edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, 33 in all. These were cont… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Christ, Redeemer of our race
Latin Title: Christe Redemptor omnium
Translator: H. W. Baker
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Christe Redemptor omnium [gentium] Ex [De] Patre. [Christmas.] This Ambrosian hymn is sometimes ascribed to St. Ambrose, but is rejected as such by the Benedictine editors of his works. (Paris Ed. 1686-90, tom, iii; Migne, tom. 17.)
Translations in common use:—
1. Jesu, the Father's Only Son, by J. M. Neale, given in the Hymnal Noted, 1st ed., 1852, No. 13, and continued in later editions. In 1884 it was transferred to the Hymner.
2. O Christ, Redeemer of our race, by Sir H. W. Baker, appeared in the trial copy of the Hymns Ancient & Modern., 1859; 1st ed., 1861, and the revised ed., 1875.
3. 0 Christ, Redeemer of mankind, by R.F. Littledale, made for and first appeared in the People's Hymnal, 1867, and signed "F. R."

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…

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