Scripture Verse

There were…shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. Luke 2:9–10


Michael Praetorius (1571–1621)

Words: Un­known au­thor, in Ca­rols Old and Ca­rols New, by Charles L. Hut­chins (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Par­ish Choir, 1916), numbers 4 & 413.

Music: Mi­chael Prae­to-ri­us, 1609 (🔊 pdf nwc).

The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds
Thomas Cole (1801–1848)


A shep­herd band their flocks are keep­ing,
And gen­tle lambs are sweet­ly sleep­ing;
When sud­den­ly they all be­hold
An ang­el in bright robes, with harp of gold.

Glad tid­ings of great joy he bring­eth,
The az­ure vault with ant­hems ring­eth;
Immanuel awakes the song,
And count­less hosts the glo­ri­ous theme pro­long.

To you, this day, is born a Sav­ior,
Your pro­phet, priest and king for­ev­er;
All glo­ry be to God,
they cry;
All glo­ry be to God, let earth re­ply.

On earth be peace with mer­cy blend­ing,
Goodwill to men, and love un­end­ing
Thus sweet­ly sing the ang­el throng,
And all the heav’n­ly host re­hearse the song.

Through field and wood the song re­sound­eth,
O’er hill and vale the cho­rus bound­eth;
Exultingly the ech­oes roll,
And hymns of tri­umph spread from pole to pole.

The shep­herds view the host re­turn­ing,
Their hearts with ho­ly ar­dor burn­ing;
To Beth­le­hem they wend their way,
Repeating with glad tongues th’an­gel­ic lay.

In haste they seek the heav’n­ly Stran­ger;
They find the Babe laid in a man­ger;
With won­der and with awe they fall,
And joy­ful­ly adore Him, Lord of all.

Now ev­ery voice with rap­ture swell­eth,
For Christ the Lord with mor­tals dwell­eth;
Let men and ang­els Him adore,
And shout their loud ho­san­nas ev­er­more.