Scripture Verse

Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Micah 5:2

Introduction

portrait
John Brownlie
(1857–1925)

Words: From a Ben­e­dic­tine pro­ces­sion­al, ear­ly 14th Cen­tu­ry, for­mer­ly be­long­ing to the mon­as­te­ry of St. Ge­org at Hrad­isch (now Uher­ské Hrad­iště, Czech­ia) (Pu­er na­tus in Beth­le­hem). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John Brown­lie, Hymns of the Ear­ly Church (Lon­don: Mor­gan & Scott, 1913), pag­es 60–61.

Music: Tru­ro, from Psal­mo­dia Ev­an­gel­i­ca, by Tho­mas Will­iams, 1789 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

Zion is glad this glorious morn:
A babe in Bethlehem is born.
See where He lies in manger low,
Whose kingly reign no end shall know.

The ox and ass that filled the stall,
Knew that the babe was Lord of all.
Out from the east the sages bring
Their treasures for an offering.

They humbly seek the lowly place,
And worship there the King of grace:
The Son of God, who made the earth,
A virgin mother gave Him birth.

No poison from the serpent stains
The human blood that fills His veins;
And though our flesh He meekly wears,
No mark of sin His nature bears;

That He might man to God restore,
And give the grace that once he wore.
Come, while our hearts are full of mirth,
And bless the Lord of lowly birth.

Last verse, which can be used with tunes of a dif­fer­ent me­ter:

The Holy Trinity we’ll praise,
And give our thanks to God always.