Scripture Verse

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.@Luke 2:14

Introduction

portrait
John of Damascus
(675–749)

Words: At­trib­ut­ed to John of Da­mas­cus, 8th Cen­tu­ry (Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις Θεῷ). Trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by Will­iam C. Dix in Ly­ra Mes­si­a­ni­ca, ed­it­ed by Or­by Ship­ley (Lon­don: Long­man, Green, Long­man, Ro­berts & Green, 1864), page 111.

Music: Con­stance (Sul­li­van) Ar­thur S. Sul­li­van, 1875 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Arthur S. Sullivan
(1842–1900)

Origin of the Hymn

By John the Monk, gen­er­al­ly held to be the same as St. John of Da­mas­cus (q.v.). This is found in the Of­fice of the Greek Church for Christ­mas Day, where it is sung at the ser­vice At the first hour of the Night, when Col­lect­ed again in the Church, we be­gin Com­pline ac­cord­ing to cus­tom, and af­ter the Glo­ry be to God on high, we go out in­to the Nar­thex mak­ing the Pro­cess­ion, and chant­ing there Id­i­o­me­lic sti­che­ra to the first tone ([Ri-chard F.] Lit­tle­dale's Of­fices, &c. p. 178), of which the Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις Θεῷ is a por­tion…

The orig­in­al Greek text, which dates from about the mid­dle of the eighth cen­tury, is giv­en in Dr. Lit­tle­dale's Of­fic­es, &c 1863, p. 63.

Julian, pp. 307–08

Lyrics

Today in Bethlehem hear I
Sweet angel voices singing—
All Glory be to God on High
Who Peace to earth is bringing.

The Virgin Mary holdeth more
Than highest Heav’n most holy:
Light shines on what was dark before,
And lifteth up the lowly.

God wills that peace should be in earth
And holy exultation:
Sweet Babe, I greet Thy spotless birth
And wondrous Incarnation.

Today in Bethlehem hear I
Even the lowly singing:
With angel words they pierce the sky
All earth with joy is ringing.