Scripture Verse

Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. Luke 1:38


John B. Dykes (1823–1876)

Words: Cae­li­us Se­du­li­us, 5th Cen­tu­ry (A so­lis or­tus car­di­ne). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John Ell­er­ton in Church Hymns, 1871.

Music: Tri­ni­ty Col­lege John B. Dykes (1823–1876) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

  • A Patre Uni­ge­ni­tus Pro­per Sar­um me­lo­dy (🔊 pdf nwc)
  • Sedulius Nürn­berg­isch­es Ge­sang­buch, 1676 (🔊 pdf nwc)
John Ellerton (1826–1893)


From east to west, from shore to shore,
Let ev­ery heart awake and sing
The ho­ly Child whom Ma­ry bore,
The Christ, the ev­er­last­ing King.

Behold, the world’s Cre­at­or wears
The form and fa­shion of a slave;
Our ve­ry flesh our Mak­er shares,
His fall­en crea­ture, man, to save.

For this how won­drous­ly He wrought!
A maid­en, in her low­ly place,
Became, in ways be­yond all thought,
The chos­en ves­sel of His grace.

She bowed her to the an­gel’s word
Declaring what the Fa­ther willed,
And sudd­en­ly the pr­omised Lord
That pure and hal­lowed tem­ple filled.

He shrank not from the ox­en’s stall,
He lay with­in the mang­er bed,
And He whose boun­ty feed­eth all
At Mary’s breast Him­self was fed.

And while the an­gels in the sky
Sang praise above the si­lent field,
To shep­herds poor the Lord Most High,
The one great Shep­herd, was re­vealed.

All glo­ry for this bless­èd morn
To God the Fa­ther ever be;
All praise to Thee, O vir­gin born,
All praise, O Ho­ly Ghost, to Thee.