Scripture Verse

Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2

Introduction

portrait
Lowell Mason
(1792–1872)

Words: Pos­si­bly from a 14th Cen­tu­ry Ben­e­dic­tine pro­cess­ion­al from the mon­as­te­ry of St. Ge­org, Hrad­lisch, near Ol­mütz (now Olo­mouc, Czech­ia) (Pu­er na­tus in Beth­le­hem). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ri­chard F. Lit­tle­dale in Ly­ra Mes­si­an­i­ca, ed­it­ed by Or­by Ship­ley (Lon­don: Long­man, Green, Long­man, Ro­berts & Green, 1864), pag­es 69–70.

Music: Sha­lem Lo­well Ma­son, Car­mi­na Sac­ra (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: John H. Wil­kins & Ri­chard B. Car­ter, 1844), page 49 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Lit­tle­dale (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

illustration
L’Innocence
William-Adolph Bouguereau, 1893

Lyrics

A Child is born in Bethlehem
And joyful is Jerusalem.
He lies within a lowly stall,
The King who reigneth over all.

The ox and ass beheld that sight,
And knew Him for the Lord of Might.
The wise men hasten to their king,
And gold, and myrrh, and incense bring.

Sprung from no mortal father, He
Is born of pure virginity.
Unwounded by the serpent’s tooth,
He comes to us a man in sooth.

Like to the flesh man dwelleth in,
But all unlike to man in sin.
That He might bring our mortal race
Back to the image of His face.

A Child is born in Bethlehem,
And joyful is Jerusalem.
Now upon this, His natal day,
Bless we our infant Lord alway.