There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. Luke 2:8–9
Words: Unknown author (άγγελοί μετά ποίμένων δοξάζουσι). Translated from Greek to English by John Brownlie, Hymns of the Apostolic Church (Paisley, Scotland: Alexander Gardner, 1909).
A band of herdsmen tarried late,
Through hours of night disconsolate;
Around, the snow lay glistening white,
And stars o’erhead were shining bright;
O favored shepherds, there shall rise
A brighter star in yonder skies.
Whence comes this glory, brighter far
Than light that shines from midnight star?
An angel from the Lord appears,
And lo! their minds are filled with fears;
O favored shepherds, wherefore fear?
The messenger of God is here.
O band of herdsmen, list! I bring;
Glad tidings of a promised king;
Go, in a manger ye shall find
The new-born Savior of mankind
O favored shepherds, such surprise!
To see the Christ in mean disguise.
Then stood the herdsmen all amaze,
For heaven with glory was ablaze;
And choirs of angels, clad in white,
Awoke with song the silent night;
O favored shepherds, ye were blest,
To hear that heavenly song expressed.
To God be glory, thus they sang,
While earth and Heaven with music rang;
And peace abounding henceforth dwell;
With those on earth who please Me well
O favored shepherds, night is past,
And morn, bright morn, is come at last.
O band of herdsmen, long ago,
That song was sung on earth below,
Now myriad hosts uplift the strains
That first awoke on Bethlehem’s plains;
O favored shepherds, round the throne,
The angel’s song is now your own.