Scripture Verse

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
National Portrait Gallery


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) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Henry J. Gauntlett
National Portrait Gallery



Bethlehem, of noblest cities
None can once with thee compare;
Thou alone the Lord from Heaven
Didst for us incarnate bear.

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.

By its lambent beauty guided,
See, the eastern kings appear;
See them bend, their gifts to offer—
Gifts of incense, gold, and myrrh.

Offerings of mystic meaning!
Incense doth the God disclose;
Gold a royal child proclaimeth;
Myrrh a future tomb foreshows.

Holy Jesu! in Thy brightness
To the Gentile world displayed!
With the Father, and the Spirit,
Endless praise to Thee be paid.