A Poor Brother's Hymnal
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
  From Shepherding of Stars that Gaze

From Shepherding of stars that gave
Toward heav'nly fields of light,
I come with tidings to amaze
You waters in the night.

Your shepherd King from starlit hall
Bends down to wear lands,
Lies mangered low in cattle stall.
Go touch his infant hands.

This night your King brings from afar
The virgin's lullabye,
The Wise Men's faith, a guiding star,
And love from God Most High.

He shepherds from the thistled place
The flocks by thickets torn;
His pierced hands heal all your race
Sore wounded by the thorn.

Embrace the Christchild, and with songs
Bind up the hearts in pain.
The shepherd-healer-king let throngs
Sing glorias again.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007
  Gabriel's Message Does Away
Words: Piae cantiones, 1582; trans. John Mason Neale (1818-1866)
Tune: Angelus emittitur

Gabriel's message does away
Satan's curse and Satan's sway,
out of darkness brings our Day:
so, behold,
all the gates of heaven unfold.

He that comes despised shall reign;
he that cannot die, be slain;
death by death its death shall gain: Refrain

Weakness shall the strong confound;
by the hands, in grave clothes wound,
Adam's chains shall be unbound. Refrain

By the sword that was his own,
by that sword, and that alone,
shall Goliath be o'erthrown: Refrain

Art by art shall be assailed;
to the cross shall Life be nailed;
from the grave shall hope be hailed: Refrain

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  I Wonder as I Wander

I Wonder as I Wander


Words and Music collected by John Jacob Niles
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

1. I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die.
For poor on'ry people like you and like I...
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

2. When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.
But high from God's heaven a star's light did fall,
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

3. If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky, or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God's angels in heav'n for to sing,
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King.

William L. Simon, ed., Reader’s Digest Merry Christmas Songbook (1981)

John Jacob Niles, the singer and collector of folk songs, said that he based his "I Wonder As I Wander" on a line or two of haunting music that he heard sung by a young girl in a small North Carolina town. He asked her to sing the few notes over and over, paying her a few pennies each time, until he had jotted it all down in his notebook. So close was the finished song to its Appalachian inspiration that Niles is often cited as arranger of the tune rather than its creator. The melody’s minor keg; minor intervals and unfinished cadences, as well as the poem s questioning pensiveness, make this one of the most plaintive of carols.

Earthly Delights: Xmas Carols

This carol was collected in Murphy, North Carolina in July 1933 by John Jacob Niles (1892-1980), a leading American folksong collector, who, it is said, paid a young travelling evangalist Annie Morgan 25c an hour to sing it until he had memorized it. Niles published it in his 1934 Songs of the Hill-Folk. It is often referred to as a traditional Appalachian carol, but just how far back it goes is not clear. Some believe it was only a generation old when collected. Its questioning pensiveness and gentle free speech lilt give it, nevertheless, a certain timeless quality.

   Em                Am7  Am6/7 Am7  Bm    Em    D
1 I wonder as I wan -der out under the sky
2 When Mary birthed Je - sus, ‘twas in a cows' stall,
3 If Jesus had want-ed for any wee thing:
4 I wonder as I wan -der out under the sky,

Bsus4 Em Am7 Am6/7 Am7 C C/b5 C Em
1 How Jesus, the Sav-ior, did come for to die.
2 With wisemen and far-mers and shep-herds and all
3 A star in the sky, or a bird on the wing;
4 How Jesus, the Sav-ior did come for to die

(Em) Am7 Am6/7 Am7 C C/b5 C D9
1 For poor, ornery peo-ple like you and like I
2 But high from God's hea-ven a star's light did fall,
3 Or all of God's an -gels in heaven to sing,
4 For poor, ornery peo-ple like you and like I

Bsus4 Em Am7 Am9 CM7 Bsus4/b6 Am9 Em
1 I wonder as I wan-der, out un - der the sky.
2 And the promise of a - ges it then did re -call.
3 He surely could have had it, ‘cause He was the King!
Bsus4 Em Am7 Am9 CM7 Bsus4/b6 Am9 Emsus2
4 I wonder as I wan-der, out un - der the sky.

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  What Child Is This
“She brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7

Words: Will­iam C. Dix, The Man­ger Throne, 1865.

Music: Green­sleeves, 16th Cen­tu­ry Eng­lish mel­o­dy (MI­DI, score).

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

(Am/Dm/Em) (C/F/G) (G/C/D) (Em/Am7/Bm7) (F/Bb/C) (Dm7/Gm7/Am7) (E/A/B) (A/D/E)

Am C G Em F Dm7 E (Em G D Bm C Am7 B)
What Child is this who laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping
Am C G Em F E Asus Am G (Em G D Bm C B Esus Em D)
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping
C G Em F Dm E (G D Bm C Am B)
This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing
C G Em F E F E (G D Bm C B C B)
Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son, the glorious One
F E Am (C B Em)
The Babe, the Son of Mary

Am G C (Em D G)
Who is this Child asleep in the manger
Am G Fmaj7 (Em D Cmaj7)
Tender and mild, this intimate stranger
C G/B Dm7 Am7 F (G D/F Am7 Em7 C)
Recklessly, wildly loving a dangerous world.
Am G C (Em D G)
Who is this Light invading our darkness
Am G Fmaj7 (Em D Cmaj7)
Glorious might the sun rising for us
C G/B Dm7 Am7 F G (G D/F Am7 Em7 C D)
Conquering night He captures the hardest of hearts
F (C)
We sing

C G (G D)
This is our God living and breathing
Dm7 F (Am7 C)
Call him courageous, relentless and brave
C G (G D)
This is our God, loving and reaching
Dm7 F (Am7 C)
Scandalous mercy and mighty to save

C G (G D)
Hallelujah, this is our God
Am F (Em C)
Hallelujah, this is our God
C G (G D)
Hallelujah, this is our God
F G F (C D C)
Sing praise

Who is this One who will not condemn us
Why would He come to shoulder our sentence
Nothing we've done will keep him from giving us grace
Who is this One? We watch and we're speechless
God's only Son, embracing our weakness
By His death He kills death, by His life He frees us to live
And we sing

This is our God, suff'ring and dying
Call Him the Hero redeeming the lost
This is our God, love sacrificing
All that is holy, accepting our cross

For a child has been born to us,
a son is given to us;
he will bear the symbol of cominion on his shoulder,
and his title will be:
Wonderful Counsellor,
Mighty Hero,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Peace.

- Elias 9:6 (REB)

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  In the Bleak Midwinter
“She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7-8

Words: Chris­ti­na Ros­set­ti, 1872; she wrote these words in re­sponse to a re­quest from the mag­a­zine Scrib­ner’s Month­ly for a Christ­mas po­em.

Music: Cranham, Gus­tav T. Holst, 1906 (MI­DI, score).

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

C G/B Am G
C G/B Am G C
F D(5th) G
C G/B Am G C

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  Saint of God, Elect and Precious (St. Stephen)
“He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, ‘Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.’” Acts 7:60
John M. Neale (1818-1866)

Words: Un­known au­thor, 11th Cen­tu­ry (Sanc­te Dei pre­tio­se); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale in the Hymn­al Not­ed, 1852, alt.

Music: St. Thom­as (Webbe), Sam­u­el Webbe, Mo­tetts or An­ti­phons, 1792 (MI­DI, score).

Samuel Webbe, Sr. (1740-1816)

Saint of God, elect and precious,
Protomartyr Stephen, bright
With thy love of amplest measure,
Shining round thee like a light;
Who to God commendest, dying,
Them that did thee all despite.

Glitters now the crown above thee,
Figured in thy honored name:
O that we, who truly love thee,
May have portion in the same;
In the dreadful day of judgment
Fearing neither sin nor shame.

Laud to God, and might, and honor,
Who with flowers of rosy dye
Crowned thy forehead, and hath placed thee
In the starry throne on high:
He direct us, He protect us,
From death’s sting eternally.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007
  One Small Child
One small child in a land of a thousand.
One small dream of a savior tonight.
One small hand reaching out to the starlight.
One small savior of life. Ooh.

One king bringing his gold and riches.
One king ruling and army of might.
One king kneeling with incense and candlelight.
One king bringing us life. Ooh.

See Him lying, a cradle beneath Him.
See Him smiling in the stall.
See His mother praising the Father.
See His tiny eyelids fall.
See the shepherds kneeling before Him.
See the kings on bended knee.
See the mother praising the Father.
See the blessed infant sleep.

One small child in a land of a thousand.
One small dream of a savior tonight.
One small hand reaching out to the starlight.
One small savior of life.

Am G Am G / Am C D E
Am G Am G / Am G F Em7 Dm E7 Am

C Csus C Csus / C G Am D G
C Csus C Csus / C G Am D G E

Dm C Dm C / Dm F G A
Dm C Dm C / Dm C Bb Am7 Gm A7 Dm

F Fsus F7 Fsus / F C/E Dm G/B C
F Fsus F7 Fsus / F C/E Dm G/B C A

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  Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
“Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20

Words: Li­tur­gy of St. James, 4th Cen­tu­ry (Σιγησάτο παρα σὰρξ βροτεία); trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by Gerard Moultrie, 1864.

Music: Pi­car­dy, French car­ol mel­o­dy; har­mo­ny from The Eng­lish Hymn­al, 1906, num­ber 318 (MI­DI, score).

If you have ac­cess to a pic­ture of Ger­ard Moul­trie that we could put on­line, please click here.

Am E7 / C Dm E7 / x2
A Dm Am G / Am Dm E7

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth, (or descending)
Our full homage to demand. (or comes our homage to demand)

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

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  From God the Father, Virgin Born
“Unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2

John M. Neale (1818-1866)
Words: Un­known au­thor, writ­ten be­tween the 10th and 13th Cen­tu­ries (A Pa­tre Un­i­gen­i­tus); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale, St. Mar­ga­ret’s Hymn­al, 1875, alt.
Music: De­us Tu­or­um Mil­i­tum, Gre­no­ble An­ti­phon­er, 1753 (MI­DI, score).

From God the Father, virgin-born
To us the only Son came down;
By death the font to consecrate,
The faithful to regenerate.

Beginning from His home on high
In human flesh He came to die;
Creation by His death restored,
And shed new joys of life abroad.

Glide on, O glorious Sun, and bring
The gift of healing on Your wing;
To every dull and clouded sense
The clearness of Your light dispense.

Abide with us, O Lord, we pray;
The gloom of darkness chase away;
Your work of healing, Lord, begin,
And take away the stain of sin.

Lord, once You came to earth’s domain
And, we believe, shall come again;
Be with us on the battlefield,
From every harm Your people shield.

To You, O Lord, all glory be
For this Your blest epiphany;
To God Whom all His hosts adore,
And Holy Spirit evermore.


Thomas B. Pollock (1836-1896)
Words: Un­known au­thor, be­tween the 10th & 13th Cen­tu­ries (A Pat­re Un­i­gen­i­tus); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Thom­as B. Poll­ock in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern (HAM), 1889, and re­cast by the com­pil­ers of HAM in 1904.
Music: Trin­i­ty Col­lege, John B. Dykes (1823-1876) (MI­DI, score).

John B. Dykes (1823-1876)

The Father’s sole begotten Son
Was born, the virgin’s Child, on earth;
His cross for us adoption won,
The life and grace of second birth.

Forth from the height of Heav’n He came,
In form of man with man abode;
Redeemed His world from death and shame,
The joys of endless life bestowed.

Redeemer, come with power benign,
Dwell in the souls that look for Thee;
O let Thy light within us shine
That we may Thy salvation see.

Abide with us, O Lord, we pray,
Dispel the gloom of doubt and woe;
Wash every stain of guilt away,
Thy tender healing grace bestow.

Lord, Thou hast come, and well we know
That Thou wilt likewise come again;
Thy kingdom shield from every foe,
Thy honor and Thy rule maintain.

Eternal glory, Lord, to Thee,
Whom, now revealed, our hearts adore;
To God the Father glory be,
And Holy Spirit evermore.

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  O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High
“How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:17-18

Words: Un­known au­thor, 15th Cen­tu­ry (Ap­pa­ru­it be­nig­ni­tas); Ben­ja­min Webb trans­lat­ed a cen­to be­gin­ning with O amor quam ex­sta­ti­cus from La­tin to Eng­lish for The Hymn­al Not­ed, 1854.

Music: Deo Gra­ci­as, The Agincourt Song, 1415 (MI­DI, score). Al­ter­nate tunes:

If you have ac­cess to a pho­to of Ben­ja­min Webb that we could put on­line, please click here.

O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
It fills the heart with ecstasy,
That God, the Son of God, should take
Our mortal form for mortals’ sake!

He sent no angel to our race
Of higher or of lower place,
But wore the robe of human frame
Himself, and to this lost world came.

For us baptized, for us He bore
His holy fast and hungered sore,
For us temptation sharp He knew;
For us the tempter overthrew.

For us He prayed; for us He taught;
For us His daily works He wrought;
By words and signs and actions thus
Still seeking not Himself, but us.

For us to wicked men betrayed,
Scourged, mocked, in purple robe arrayed,
He bore the shameful cross and death,
For us gave up His dying breath.

For us He rose from death again;
For us He went on high to reign;
For us He sent His Spirit here,
To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

To Him Whose boundless love has won
Salvation for us through His Son,
To God the Father, glory be
Both now and through eternity.

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  O Wondrous Type, O Vision Fair
O wondrous type! O vision fair
of glory that the Church may share,
which Christ upon the mountain shows,
where brighter than the sun he glows!

The law and prophets there have place,
the chosen witnesses of grace;
the Father's voice from our the cloud
proclaims his only Son aloud.

With shining face and bright array,
Christ deigns to manifest today
what glory shall be theirs above
who joy in God with perfect love.

And faithful hearts are raised on high
by this great vision's mystery;
for which in joyful strains we raise
the voice of prayer, the hymns of praise.

O Father, with the eternal Son,
and Holy Spirit, ever One,
vouchsafe to bring us by thy grace
to see thy glory face to face.

Words: Latin, fifteenth century;
trans. Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861

Music: Wareham, Aeterne Rex altissime, O nata Lux de Lumine, Sandys Psalm 8
Meter: LM 

  1. Æterne Rex altissime,
    Redemptor et fidelium,
    Cui mors perempta detulti
    Summæ triumphum gloriæ.
  2. Ascendis orbes siderum,
    Quo te vocabat cœlitus
    Collata, non humantius,
    Rerum potestas omnium.
  3. Ut trina rerum machina,
    Cœlestium, terrestrium,
    Et inferorum condita,
    Flectat genu jam subdita.
  4. Tremunt videntes Angeli
    Versam vicem mortalium:
    Peccat caro, mundat caro,
    Regnat Deus Dei caro.
  5. Sis ipse nostrum gaudium,
    Manens olympo præmium,
    Mundi regis qui fabricam,
    Mundana vincens gaudia.
  6. Hinc te precantes quæsumus,
    Ignosce culpis omnibus,
    Et corda sursum subleva
    Ad te superna gratia.
  7. Ut cum repente cœperis
    Clarere nube judicis,
    Pœnas repellas debitas,
    Reddas coronas perditas.
  8. Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
    Qui victor in cœlum redis,
    Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu,
    In sempiterna sæcula.
  1. Eternal Monarch, King most High,
    Whose Blood hath brought redemption nigh,
    By whom the death of Death was wrought,
    And conquering grace’s battle fought:
  2. Ascending by the starry road,
    This day Thou wentest home to God,
    By Heaven to power unending called,
    And by no human hand installed.
  3. That so, in nature’s triple frame,
    Each heavenly and each earthly name,
    And things in hell’s abyss abhorred,
    May bend the knee and own Him Lord.
  4. Yes, Angels tremble when they see
    How changed is our humanity;
    That Flesh hath purged what flesh had stained,
    And God, the flesh of God, hath reigned.
  5. Be Thou our joy, O might Lord,
    As Thou wilt be our great reward;
    Earth’s joys to Thee are nothing worth,
    Thou joy and crown of heaven and earth.
  6. To Thee we therefore humbly pray
    That Thou wouldst purge our sins away,
    And draw our hearts by cords of grace
    To Thy celestial dwelling-place.
  7. So when the Judgment day shall come,
    And all must rise to meet their doom,
    Thou wilt remit the debts we owe,
    And our lost crowns again bestow.
  8. All glory, Lord, to Thee we pay,
    Ascending o’er the stars to-day;
    All glory, as is ever meet;
    To Father and to Paraclete.
Author: Ambrosian, 5th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by J. M. Neale and others. There are fifteen translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Matins from Ascension to Pentecost.
  1. “O eternal and sovereign King, and Redeemer of the faithful, to whom the annihilation of death brought a triumph of the greatest glory:”
  2. “Thou didst ascend above the orbits of the stars, whither the sovereignty over all things summoned Thee, which sovereignty was given Thee from heaven, not by men.” Cœlitus, adv. from above, by the Father. Data est mihi omnis potestas in cœlo et in terra (Matt. 28, 18).
  3. “So that the threefold fabric of the universe, creatures (condita) of heaven, of earth, and of hell, may now in submission bend the knee to Thee.” Condita = creata. Machina, order structure, fabric, kingdom. Ut in nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur cœlestium, terrestrium, et infernorum (Phil. 2, 10).
  4. “The Angels tremble, beholding the altered lot of mortals: flesh sinned, Flesh cleanses from sin, the God-Man reigns as God.” Dei caro: lit., “the flesh of God reigns as God.” Vicem, lot, estate, condition; versam, changed, reversed.
  5. “Be Thou Thyself our joy, our abiding reward in heaven, Thou who, surpassing all earthly joys, dost rule over the fabric of the universe.”
  6. “Therefore, praying we beseech Thee, pardon all our sins, and by Thy heavenly grace raise aloft our hearts to Thee.”
  7. “That when Thou dost unexpectedly begin to shine in splendor on a cloud as judge, Thou mayest remit the punishments due, and restore our lost crowns.” Et tunc videbunt Filium hominis venientem in nube cum potestate magna, et majestate (Luke 21, 27).

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  O Light of Light, Love Given Birth
O light of Light, Love given birth;
Jesus, Redeemer of the Earth:
more bright than day your face did show,
Your reiment whiter than the show.

Two prophets, who had faith to see,
with your elect found company;
the heavens aboveyour glory names,
your Father's voice His Son proclaimed.

May all who seek to praise aright
through purer lives show forth Your light
To You, the King of glory, now
all faithful hearts adoring bow.

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  O Light of Light, by Love Inclined

O Light of light, by love inclined

O Light of light, by love inclined,
Jesus, Redeemer of mankind,
with loving-kindness deign to hear
from suppliant voices praise and prayer.

Thou who to raise our souls from hell
didst deign in fleshly form to dwell,
vouchsafe us, when our race is run,
in thy fair body to be one.

More bright than day thy face did show,
thy raiment whiter than the snow,
when on the mount to mortals blest
man's maker thou was manifest.

Two prophets, that had faith tosee,
with thine elect found company,
where unto each, divinely shown,
the Godhead veiled in form was known.

The heavens above his glory named,
the Father's voice his Son proclaimed;
to whom, the King of glory now,
all faithful hearts adoring bow.

May all who seek thy praise aright
through purer lives show forth thy light;
so to the brightness of the skies
by holy deeds our hearts shall rise.

Eternal God, to thee we raise,
the King of kings, our hymn of praise,
who Three in One and One in Three
doth live and reign eternally.

Words: Latin, tenth century;
trans. Laurence Housman, 1906

Music: Whitehall, Elmhust, Jesu dulcis memoria

Meter: LM

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  When Christ's Appearing Was Made Known
When Christ's appearing was made known
King Herod tembled for his throne;
but He who offers heavenly birth
sought not the kingdoms of this Earth

The Eastern sages saw from far
And followed on his guiding star;
by light their way to Light they trod
and by their gifts confessed their God

Within the Jordan's sacred flood
the heavenly Lamb in meekness stood,
that He, to whom no sin was known
Might cleanse His people from their own

Oh, what a miracle divine,
when water reddened into wine!
He spoke the word, and forth it flowed
in streams that nature ne'er bestowed.

All glory, Jesus, be to Thee
for this Thy glad epiphany:
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost forevermore.

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  Ancient Hymns
Supernal Anthems Echoing

This collection of Hymns reveals the inspiration that the first millennium of Christianity had on the nineteenth century. Translations, or more accurately interpretations, of Greek and Latin hymns into English enriched the worship of the church, bringing her back to her roots. As an Orthodox Christian of English and Welsh heritage, I hope to bring these hymns with us on our journey into the next millennium of the Church via the internet. It is also a bridge between the Western and Eastern Rites of Orthodoxy. The Last Trump

Interpretations from the Greek

St. Anatolius

The Day is Past & Over* (Neale) "St. Anatolius"
Fierce was the Wild Billow (Neale) "Carlisle New", "Euroclydon", or "St. Issey"
The Lord and King of All Things* (Neale) "Wohlauf, Thut Nicht Verzagen"

St. Andrew of Crete
Christian Dost Thou See Them* (Neale)"St. Andrew of Crete"
Whence Shall My Tears Begin? (Neale)

St. Clement of Alexandria
Shepherd of Tender Youth* (Dexter) "Olivet (Mason)" or "Kirby Bedon"

St. Ephraim the Syrian
The Pearl (St. Pachomius Library)
Hymns for Epiphany (A.E. Johnston)
Hymns on Fasting
Hymns on the Nativity (J.B. Morris)

St. Germanus (634-734)
A Great and Mighty Wonder* (Neale) "Es Ist Ein Ros"

St. Gregory Nazianzus

Lord to Our Humble Prayers Attend* (Brownlie) "Beatus"
O Light That Knew No Dawn* (Brownlie) "Waverton"

St. John of Damascus (675-749)
The Day of Resurrection* (Neale)"Lancashire"
Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain* (Neale)"St. Kevin"
Those Eternal Bowers* (Neale)"St. Alban's"
Thou Hallowed Chosen Morn of Praise* (Neale) "Eisenach"

St. Joseph the Hymnographer (d.883)
Stars of the Morning* (Neale) "Trisagion"
Stand We on Olivet, Mark Him Ascend (Neale) Canon for Ascension Day
Let Our Choir New Anthems Raise* (Neale) "St. Kevin"
Let Us Now Our Voices Raise* (Neale) "Tempus Adest Floridum"
O Happy Band of Pilgrims* (Neale) "St. Edith (St. Hilda)"

Liturgy of St. James
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence* (Moultrie) "Picardy"

St. Methodius of Olympus
Behold the Bridegroom Cometh* (Moultrie) "Kingsfold" (Vaughan Williams)
Behold the Bridegroom Draweth Nigh* (Moorsom) "Geronimo"

Synesius of Cyrene (c.375-430)
Lord Jesus, Think on Me* (Chatfield) "Southwell"

Let Thy Blood in Mercy Poured* (Brownlie) "Luise"
The King Shall Come* (Brownlie) "St. Stephen"
Hail Gladdening Light* (Keble) "Sundown"
O Gladsome Light* (Bridges) "Le Cantique de Siméon" (Louis Bourgeois)
Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones* (J.A.L. Riley) "Lasst Uns Erfreuen"

Interpretations from the Latin

Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-413)
All Hail, Ye Little Martyr Flowers* (Riley) "Saratt"
Earth has Many a Noble City* (Caswall) "Stuttgart"
Now with Creation's Morning Song* (Caswall/Longfellow) "Festus"
Of the Father's Love Begotten* (Neale) "Divinum Mysterium"
The Winged Heralds of the Day* (Neale) "Cathemerinon (Ales diei nuntius)"
Ye Clouds & Darkness, Hosts of Night* (R.M. Pope) "Wareham"

St. Ambrose of Milan (340-397)
Come, Holy Ghost, Who Ever One* (Newman) "Ferial"
Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth* (Neale) "Puer Nobis Nascitur"
Creator of the Earth & Sky* (Bigg) "St. Gregory"
The Dawn is Sprinkling in the East* (Caswall) "Wareham"
Eternal Gifts of Christ the King* (Neale) "Aeterna Christi Munera"
Eternal Glory of the Sky* (Neale) "Wareham"
Morning* (Newman) "Lancaster"
The Morning Kindles All the Sky* (E.R. Charles) "Lowry"
Now that the Daylight Dies Away* (Newman) "St. Flavian"
Now that the Daylight Fills the Skies* (Neale) "Warrington"
Now that the Sun is Gleaming Bright* (Newman) "Abiding Grace"
O Trinity of Blessed Light* (Neale) "Bromley" or "Westminster"
O Splendor of God's Glory Bright* (Bridges/Neale) "Wareham"
O God of All Strength & Power* (Neale) "Ludborough"
O Strength & Stay* (Ellerton) "Strength & Stay"
O God of Truth, O Lord of Might* (Neale) "Ferial"
Caelius Sedulius (5th Century)
From East to West, From Shore to Shore* (Ellerton) "Trinity College"
From Lands that See the Sun Arise* (Neale) "St. John's Highlands"
When Christ's Appearing was Made Known* (Neale) "Erhalt Uns, Herr"
Why, Impious Herod, Shouldst Thou Fear* (Dearmer) "St. Venantius"
Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus (6th c.)
Hail Thee, O Festival Day* "Salve Festa Dies"
The Royal Banners Forward Go* (Neale) "Hamburg"
See the Destined Day Arise* (Mant) "Halle"
Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle* (Dearmer/Neale) "Picardy"
Welcome, Happy Morning!* (Ellerton) "Fortunatus"

St. Gregory the Great (540-604)
Blessed Creator of the Light* (Chandler) "Vienna"
Father, We Praise Thee, Now the Night is Over* (Dearmer) "Christe Sanctorum"
The Glory of These 40 Days* (Bell) "Spires"
Now, When the Dusky Shades of Night* "Laus Matutina"
O Blessed Creator of the Light* (Neale) "Bromley"
O Christ, Our King, Creator, Lord* (Neale) "Cromer"
This Day the First of Days was Made* (Yattendon Hymnal) "Andernach"

Rhabanus Maurus (9th c.)
Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire* (Cosin) "Veni Creator"

Theodulph of Orleans (760-821)
All Glory, Laud and Honour* (Neale) "St. Theodulph"

Venerable Bede (673-735)
A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing (Webb) "Lasst Uns Erfreuen"
The Hymn for Conquering Martyrs Raise* (Neale) "Wer da Wonet"


Draw Nigh and Take the Body of the Lord* (Neale) "Penetentia", or "Ellers"
Come, O Creator Spirit Blest* (Caswall) "Grace Church"
Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding* (Caswall) "Merton (Monk)"

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  Earth Has Many A Noble City
“Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One Who will be Ruler over Israel, Whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

Edward Caswall (1814-1878)
Words: Au­re­li­us Pru­den­ti­us (348-413) (O so­la mag­nar­um ur­bi­um); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ed­ward Cas­wall, Ly­ra Ca­thol­i­ca, 1849.
Music: Stutt­gart, in Psalm­o­dia Sac­ra, by Christ­ian F. Witt (Go­tha, Ger­ma­ny: 1715); adapt­ed by Hen­ry J. Gaunt­lett (1805-1876) (MI­DI, score).

If you have ac­cess to a pic­ture of Au­re­li­us Pru­den­ti­us or Christ­ian Witt that we could put on­line, please click here.

Earth has many a noble city;
Bethlehem, thou dost all excel;
Out of thee the Lord from Heaven
Came to rule His Israel.

Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the star that told His birth,
To the world its God announcing
Seen in fleshly form on earth.

Eastern sages at His cradle
Make oblations rich and rare;
See them give, in deep devotion,
Gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
Incense doth their God disclose,
Gold the King of kings proclaimeth,
Myrrh His sepulcher foreshows.

Jesu, whom the Gentiles worshipped
At Thy glad Epiphany,
Unto Thee, with God the Father
And the Spirit, glory be.

This hymn is composed of four verses from the Hymn for the Epiphany from Prudentius' (384-413) Cathemerinon, which is 52 stanzas long. In 1568, four short hymns were assembled from selected stanzas from Prudentius' hymn and introduced into the Breviary by Pope Pius V. This hymn is one of them and is used in the Roman Breviary at Lauds on Epiphany.
O SOLA magnarum urbium
maior Bethlehem, cui contigit
ducem salutis caelitus
incorporatum gignere.
BETHLEHEM! of noblest cities
none can once with thee compare;
thou alone the Lord from heaven
didst for us Incarnate bear.
Haec stella, quae solis rotam
vincit decore ac lumine,
venisse terris nuntiat
cum carne terrestri Deum.
Fairer than the sun at morning
was the star that told His birth;
to the lands their God announcing,
hid beneath a form of earth.
Videre postquam illum Magi,
eoa promunt munera:
stratique votis offerunt
thus, myrrham, et aurum regium.
By its lambent beauty guided,
see the eastern kings appear;
see them bend, their gifts to offer-
gifts of incense, gold, and myrrh.
Regem Deumque annuntiant
thesaurus, et fragrans odor
thuris Sabaei, ac myrrheus
pulvis sepulchrum praedocet.
Solem things of mystic meaning!-
Incense doth the God disclose;
Gold a royal Child proclaimeth;
Myrrh a future tomb foreshows.
Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui apparuisti gentibus,
cum Patre, et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula.
Holy Jesu, in Thy brightness
to the Gentile world displayed,
with the Father and the Spirit,
endless praise to Thee be paid.

From the Roman Breviary. Translation by Fr. Edward Caswall (1814-1878).

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  Alleluia, Song of Gladness
“Sing unto God, sing praises to His Name.” Psalm 68:4

Words: Un­known au­thor, 11th Cen­tu­ry (Al­le­lu­ia, dul­ce car­men); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale, 1851, alt.
Music: Tan­tum Er­go Sam­u­el Webbe, Mo­tetts or An­ti­phons, 1792 (MI­DI, score).

If you have ac­cess to a pic­ture of Sam­u­el Webbe that we could put on­line, please click here.

John M. Neale (1818-1866)

Alleluia, song of gladness,
Voice of joy that cannot die;
Alleluia is the anthem
Ever dear to choirs on high;

In the house of God abiding
Thus they sing eternally.
Alleluia thou resoundest,
True Jerusalem and free;

Alleluia, joyful mother,
All thy children sing with thee;
But by Babylon’s sad waters
Mourning exiles now are we.

Alleluia we deserve not
Here to chant forevermore;
Alleluia our transgressions
Make us for a while give o’er;

For the holy time is coming
Bidding us our sins deplore.
Therefore in our hymns we pray Thee,
Grant us, blessèd Trinity,

At the last to keep Thine Easter
In our home beyond the sky;
There to Thee forever singing
Alleluia joyfully.

1. Alleluia dulce carmen,
Vox perennis gaudii,
Alleluia laus suavis
Est choris coelestibus,
Quam canunt Dei manentes
In domo per saecula.

2. Alleluia laeta mater
Concivis Jerusalem:
Alleluia vox tuorum
Civium gaudentium:
Exsules nos flere cogunt
Babylonis flumina.

3. Alleluia non meremur
In perenne psallere;
Alleluia vo reatus
Cogit intermittere;
Tempus instat quo peracta
Lugeamus crimina.

4. Unde laudando precamur
Te beata Trinitas,
Ut tuum nobis videre
Pascha des in aethere,
Quo tibi laeti canamus
Alleluia perpetim.

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  As With Gladness Men of Old

hen they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Matthew 2:10

William C. Dix (1837-1898)
Words: Will­iam C. Dix, 1860. He wrote this hymn on the day of the Epi­pha­ny, while sick in bed; it was first pub­lished in his Hymns of Love and Joy.
Music: Dix, Kon­rad Koch­er, Stim­men aus dem Reiche Gott­es, 1838 (MI­DI, score).

Conrad Kocher (1786-1872)

As with gladness, men of old
Did the guiding star behold
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright

So, most glorious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.
As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger bed
There to bend the knee before
Him Whom Heaven and earth adore;

So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.
As they offered gifts most rare
At that manger rude and bare;

So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last

Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.
In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;

Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!


  I Come, the Great Redeemer Cries
"I come," the great Redeemer cries,
"To do thy will, O Lord!"
At Jordan's stream, behold!
He seals the sure prophetic word.

"Thus it becomes to fulfill
all righteousness," he said.
Then, faithful to the Lord's commands,
through Jordan's flood was led.

Hark, a glad voice! The Father speaks
from heaven's exalted height:
"This is my Son, my well-beloved
in whom I take delight."

The Savior Jesus, well-beloved!
His Name we will profess,
like him desirous to fulfill
God's will in righteousness.

No more we'll count ourselves our own
but his in bonds of love.
Oh, may such bonds for ever draw
our souls to things above!.

Words: Christian Hymnbook, 1865,
as alt. in The Hymnal 1982.
If you have the original version, please write.

Music: This Endris Nyght


All my favorite hymns. Most of them are from before the Reformation.

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