Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5–7
Words: Caelius Sedulius, 5th Century (A solis ortus cardine). Translated from Latin to German by Martin Luther in Eyn Enchiridion (Erfurt, Germany: 1524) (Christum wir sollen loben schon). Translated from German to English by Richard Massie, Martin Luther’s Spiritual Songs, 1854.
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Now praise we Christ, the Holy One,
The blessed virgin Mary’s Son,
Far as the glorious sun doth shine,
E’en to the world’s remote confine.
He who Himself all things did make
A servant’s form vouchsafed to take
That He as man mankind might win
And save His creatures from their sin.
The grace and power of God the Lord
Upon the mother was outpoured;
A virgin pure and undefiled
In wondrous wise conceived a child.
The holy maid became th’abode
And temple of the living God,
And she, who knew not man, was blest
With God’s own Word made manifest.
The noble mother bore a Son—
For so did Gabriel’s promise run—
Whom John confessed and leaped with joy
Ere yet the mother knew her Boy.
Upon a manger filled with hay
In poverty content He lay;
With milk was fed the Lord of all,
Who feeds the ravens when they call.
The heavenly choirs rejoice and raise
Their voice to God in songs of praise.
To humble shepherds is proclaimed
The Shepherd who the world hath framed.
All honor unto Christ be paid,
Pure Offspring of the favored maid,
With Father and with Holy Ghost,
Till time in endless time be lost.