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