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. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8–11


Franz J. Haydn (1732–1809)

Words: Re­port­ed­ly pub­lished in The Un­ion Min­strel, by Tho­mas Hast­ings, 1834. The text be­low is from Hast­ings’ Chris­tian Psalm­ist (New York: Ez­ra Col­lier, 1836), page 266, where the au­thor is giv­en as ano­ny­mous.

Music: Queens­bo­rough, ar­ranged from Franz J. Hay­dn (1732–1809) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:


Adoration of the Shepherds
Gerard van Honthorst (1590–1656)

Shepherds, hail the won­drous strang­er!
Now to Beth­l’em speed your way;
Lo! in yon­der hum­ble mang­er,
Christ the Lord is born to­day.

Christ, by pro­phets long pre­dict­ed,
Joy of Is­rael’s chos­en race;
Light to Gen­tiles long af­flict­ed,
Lost in er­ror’s dark­est maze.

Bright the star of your sal­va­tion,
Pointing to His rude abode!
Rapturous news for ev­ery na­tion—
Mortals, now be­hold your God!

Glad we trace th’amaz­ing sto­ry,
Angels leave their bliss to tell;
Theme sub­lime, re­plete with glo­ry,
Sinners saved from death and hell.

Love eter­nal moved the Sav­ior,
Thus to lay His ra­di­ance by;
Blessings to the Lamb for ev­er,
Glory be to God on high.