Scripture Verse

The angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Luke 2:9–10


Angel Visits Shepherds
Die Bibel in Bildern, Julius Schnorr, 1860

Words: John of Da­mas­cus (675–749) (Νεῦ­σον πρὸς ὕμ­νους, οἰ­χε­τῶν εὐεϱ­γέ­τα). Trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by Will­iam C. Dix in Ly­ra Mes­sia­ni­ca, ed­it­ed by Or­by Ship­ley (Lon­don: Long­man, Green, Long­man, Ro­berts & Green, 1864), pag­es 74–75, alt.

Music: Ew­ing Al­ex­an­der Ew­ing, 1853 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Ewing (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

John of Damascus (675–749)


Bend to our hymns, Re­deem­er,
The foe’s high brow bring low;
Thou from on high be­hold­est
Each sin which works our woe;
Yet us, Thine own, Most Ho­ly,
Who stead­fast­ly be­lieve,
Thy min­strels, tru­ly faith­ful,
Thyself in love re­ceive.

The band of herds­men chos­en
The strange new sight to see,
Was trou­bled at be­hold­ing
The won­drous mys­te­ry:
The off­spring of a maid­en,
Incarnate with­out seed,
This, this the pass­ing mar­vel
No hu­man mind can read.

O sight all un­ac­cus­tomed,
Their mon­arch, Christ the Lord,
They see by tune­ful co­horts
Of se­ra­phim adored;
In ten­der lov­ing-kind­ness
He comes, who rules the sky,
And born of maid un­wed­ded,
Fulfills His pro­mise high.

Erewhile with­out a body,
The Es­sence flesh was made;
The Word took mat­ter to Him
From Ma­ry, stain­less maid:
That to Him­self, us sin­ners,
The guil­ty sons of men,
Creation’s fall­en chief­tains,
He might draw back again.