The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:2
Words: Unknown author, 11th Century. Revised in the Roman Breviary, 1632 (Jesu Redemptor omnium, Quem lucis ante originem). Translated from Latin to English by Frederick C. Husenbeth, 1840. Appeared in Annus Sanctus, Volume 1, edited by Orby Shipley (London & New York: Burns & Oates, 1884), pages 33–34.
Jesus, Redeemer, ere the light,
Born in transcendent glory bright;
Effulgent Thou, with equal beam
Proceeding from Thy Sire supreme.
Thee the great Father’s light we know,
Eternal hope of all below;
Regard our prayer, to Thee we fly,
Oh, hear Thy suppliant servants’ cry.
Redeemer, blest Creator, Thou
For our redemption once didst bow;
Assuming, to avert our doom,
Man’s nature from the virgin’s womb.
This joyful day returns to prove
That miracle of boundless love,
When by the Father’s only Son
The world’s salvation was begun.
Him the bright stars, the earth, the sea
And all beneath Heav’n’s canopy,
The author of our birth anew,
Praise with new hymns and glory due.
And we, whom Thy atoning blood
Has cleansed with pure redeeming flood,
With hymns on this Thy natal day,
The tribute of our homage pay.
Jesus, of virgin born, to Thee
May praise and glory ever be,
With Father and with Holy Ghost,
By men and Heav’n’s eternal host.