Scripture Verse

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.@Luke 2:11

Introduction

Words: J. H. Blunt, in The Cho­ral Hym­nal, ed­it­ed by Sig­is­mond La­sar (Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois & New York: Big­low & Main, 1888), num­ber 98, alt.

Music: St. Ba­sil (Stain­er) John Stain­er, 1886 (🔊 pdf nwc). The tune name is giv­en in The Cho­ral Hym­nal (see above). The score is a sim­pler ar­range­ment found in In Ex­cel­sis (New York: Cen­tu­ry Com­pa­ny, 1900), num­ber 79.

If you know Blunt’s full name, or where to get a good pho­to of him (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

portrait
John Stainer
(1840–1901)

Lyrics

Now join we all with holy mirth,
To celebrate the Savior’s birth,
For He has come from Heav’n to earth,
In humble guise and lowly.
The heav’ns the brightest planet lent,
That e’er had graced the firmament,
And wise men from the east were sent
To greet this Babe so holy.

And from the heavens all around,
Broke forth such strange, celestial sound,
Th’entrancèd shepherds on the ground
Stand spellbound, inly dreaming;
If such divine, melodious hymn,
Of cherubim and seraphim,
These harmonies that round them swim,
Are real, or only seeming.

Fear not, O shepherds! naught but bliss
Can come of heav’nly song like this;
The angel’s gracious message is
With sweetest accents blended:
“All glory be to God on high!
And peace on earth, for which a sigh
Hath long been raised, e’en now is nigh,
Emmanuel hath descended.

For unto you this Child is born,
His swaddling clothes hold not in scorn,
Nor virgin mother, so forlorn,
His nature He is veiling;
The Wonderful—the Counselor,
The mighty God Himself is there,
Has come your deepest woes to share—
A Savior, all availing!

Then with the shepherds we will go—
Come, young and old, come, high and low,
We’ll troop to Bethlehem, and so
Low bending each confessing,
We’ll cast away our nature’s sin,
For pardon, grace we’ve come to win,
We knock, O Jesus! take us in,
Into Thy fold we’re pressing.