Scripture Verse

I bring you good news of great joy. Luke 2:10

Introduction

Words: Charles Cof­fin, writ­ten for Ma­tins of Christ­mas Day in the Pa­ris Bre­vi­a­ry, 1736 (Jam de­si­nant sus­pi­ria). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Will­iam J. Blew, The Church Hymn and Tune Book (Lon­don: Fran­cis & John Riv­ing­ton, 1852), Christ­mas sec­tion, num­ber 14.

Music: St. Mi­chael, me­lo­dy by Lou­is Bour­geois in the French Ge­ne­van Psal­ter, 1551. Adapt­ed by Will­iam Crotch in his Psalm Tunes, 1836 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Cof­fin or Blew (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

portrait
William Crotch
(1775–1847)

Lyrics

Let sighing cease and woe
God from on high hath heard,
Heaven’s gate is opening wide, and lo!
The long expected Word.

Peace—through the deep of night
The heavenly choir breaks forth,
Singing with festal songs and bright,
Our God and Savior’s birth.

The cave of Bethlehem
Those wakeful shepherds seek;
Let us, too, rise and greet with them
That infant pure and meek.

We enter—at the door
What marvel meets the eye?
A crib, a mother pale and poor,
A child of poverty.

Art Thou the eternal Son,
The eternal Father’s ray?
Whose little hand, Thou infant one,
Doth lift the world alway?

Yea—faith through that dim cloud,
Like lightning darts before,
And greets Thee, at whose footstool bowed
Heaven’s trembling hosts adore.

Our Master—silent yet,
Thou teachest from Thy chair;
Shun that on which thy flesh is set;
What flesh abhorreth—bear.

Chaste be our love like Thine,
Our swelling souls bring low,
And in our hearts, O Babe divine
Be born, abide and grow.

So shall Thy birthday morn,
Lord Christ, our birthday be,
Then greet we all, ourselves newborn,
Our King’s nativity.

Born at a virgin’s beast,
Jesu, be praise to Thee,
With Sire and Holy Spirit blest,
Through all eternity.