Veni redemptor gentium
"Veni redemptor gentium" (Come, Redeemer of the nations) is a Latin Advent or Christmas hymn by Ambrose in iambic dimeter. The hymn is assigned to the Office of Readings for Advent, from December 17 through December 24, in the Liturgy of the Hours.
The later hymn "Veni Creator Spiritus" borrows two lines from the hymn (Infirma nostri corporis — Virtute firmans perpeti). "Veni redemptor gentium" was particularly popular in Germany where Martin Luther translated it into German as "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland," which then he, or possibly Johann Walter, set as a chorale, based on the original plainchant. Luther adapted the original chant tune separately for each of three other hymns: "Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich," "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort," and "Gib unserm Fürsten und aller Obrigkeit." In 1959, Dom Paul Benoit, OSB adapted the chant melody as the hymn tune Christian Love, for use with the text "Where Charity and Love Prevail," Omer Westendorf's common meter translation of the Holy Thursday hymn "Ubi caritas."
Veni, redemptor gentium;
ostende partum Virginis;
miretur omne saeculum:
talis decet partus Deum.
Come, Redeemer of the nations;
show forth the Virgin birth;
let every age marvel:
such a birth befits God.
- Christine Mohrmann Études sur le latin des chrétiens, vol. I, Le latin des chrétiens - Page 167 "Pour illustrer ce que j'ai dit, je citerai deux strophes de l'hymne de Noël de saint Ambroise, intitulé: Veni redemptor gentium: Veni redemptor gentium Ostende partum virginis Miretur omne saeculum Talis decet partus Deum. J'ai fait observer ...
- Paul Westermeyer Let the People Sing: Hymn Tunes in Perspective 2005 Page 61 "Advent Ambrose's Advent hymn "Veni redemptor gentium," discussed in Chapter II, was well known in Germany. Luther translated it into German. Then he, or possibly Walter, simplified its chant tune, VENI REDEMPTOR GENTIUM, into the chorale tune that takes its German name from Luther's translation, NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILAND." For a comparison of the chorale tune to the original chant melody, see "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland," Bach Cantatas Website, accessed 2014-08-27.
- See "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works: Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort," Bach Cantatas Website, accessed 2014-08-27.
- See "Christian Love," Hymnary.org, accessed 2014-08-27.