Scripture Verse

I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Luke 2:10

Introduction

illustration
Annunciation to the Shepherds
Jules Bastien-Lepage
1848–1884

Words: Na­hum Tate, Sup­ple­ment to the New Ver­sion of the Psalms of Da­vid, 1702, page 801 (orig­in­al­ly, While Shep­herds Watched Their Flocks by Night).

Music: Cad­do Will­iam B. Brad­bu­ry, in Fresh Lau­rels (New York: Big­low & Main, 1867) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

portrait
William B. Bradbury
1816–1868

Lyrics

On Judah’s plains as shepherds kept,
Watch o’er their flocks by night,
The angel of the Lord appeared,
Clad in celestial light.

Awe struck the vision they regard,
Appalled with trembling fear;
When thus a cherub voice divine
Breathed sweetly on their ear.

“Shepherds of Judah! cease your fears,
And calm your troubled mind;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.

“This day almighty Love fulfills
Its great eternal Word;
This day is born in Bethlehem
A Savior, Christ the Lord.

There shall you find the heavenly Babe
In humblest weeds arrayed;
All meanly wrapped in swaddling clothes
And in a manger laid.

He ceased, and sudden all around
Appeared a radiant throng
Of angels, praising God, and thus
Warbling their choral song.

Glory to God, from whom on high
All gracious mercies flow!
Who sends His Heav’n descended Peace
To dwell with man below.