Scripture Verse

Bethlehem Ephratah, 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
Richard Mant
(1776–1848)

Words: Au­re­li­us Pru­den­ti­us, 5th Cen­tu­ry (O So­la Mag­na­rum Ur­bi­um), cen­to. Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ri­chard Mant, An­cient Hymns from the Ro­man Bre­vi­a­ry (Lon­don: J. G. & F. Riv­ing­ton, 1837), num­ber 34.

Music: In­no­cents The Par­ish Choir, 1850. Har­mo­ny by Will­iam H. Monk, 1861 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

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William H. Monk
(1823–1889)

Lyrics

First of cities, Bethlehem,
Hail, most favored! When He came,
Savior of the human race,
Thee the Godhead deigned to grace.

Brighter than the sun’s bright car,
And more glorious was the star,
Which in Thee new-born from high
Told the incarnate Deity.

Him what time the Magians saw,
Forth their orient gifts they draw;
Prostrate they with vows unfold
Myrrh, and frankincense, and gold.

Frankincense and gold they bring,
To announce their God and king;
Spice of aromatic myrrh,
To announce His sepulcher.

Jesus, let Thy name be blest,
To the Gentiles manifest;
To the Father glory be,
With the Spirit, and with Thee!