Scripture Verse

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. Luke 2:8–9


Words: Fred­er­ic W. Far­rar, 1871, alt. While an as­sist­ant mas­ter at Har­row School, Far­rar wrote this hymn for the boys there, and it was fre­quent­ly sung in the cha­pel.

Music: Chope, Chope’s Ca­rols (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know when the mu­sic was writ­ten,

Frederic W. Farrar (1831–1903)


Angel and Shepherds
William Henry Margetson, 1906

In the field with their flocks abid­ing,
They lay on the dewy ground;
And glim­mer­ing under the star­light,
The sheep lay white around;
When the light of the Lord streamed o’er them,
And lo! from hea­ven above,
An an­gel leaned from the glo­ry,
And sang his song of love.
He sang, that first sweet Christ­mas,
The song that shall ne­ver cease.


Glory to God in the high­est,
On earth good will and peace.

To you in the ci­ty of Da­vid
A Sav­ior is born to­day!

And sud­den a host of the hea­ven­ly ones
Flashed forth to join the lay.
O ne­ver hath sweet­er mes­sage
Thrilled home to the souls of men
And the hea­vens them­selves had ne­ver heard
A glad­der choir till then.
For they sang that Christ­mas ca­rol
That ne­ver on earth shall cease.


And the shep­herds came to the man­ger,
And gazed on the ho­ly Child;
And calm­ly o’er that rude cra­dle
The vir­gin mo­ther smiled;
And the sky in the star­lit si­lence,
Seemed full of the an­gel lay:
To you in the ci­ty of Da­vid
A Sav­ior is born to­day!

O they sang, and we pray that ne­ver
The ca­rol on earth shall cease.