Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Infant holy, infant lowly,
for his bed a cattle stall;
oxen lowing, little knowing
Christ the babe is Lord of all.
Swift are winging angels singing,
noels ringing, tidings bringing:
Christ the babe is Lord of all!
Christ the babe is Lord of all!

Flocks were sleeping; shepherds keeping
vigil till the morning new
saw the glory, heard the story,
tidings of the gospel true.
Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow,
praises voicing greet the morrow:
Christ the babe was born for you!
Christ the babe was born for you!

Words: Traditional Polish Carol; tr. Edith M. G. Reed, 1921.
Tune:W Żłobie Leży” Traditional Polish Carol.

Here is the original Polish text of the hymn:

W żłobie leży! Któż pobieży
Kolędować małemu
Jezusowi Chrystusowi
Dziś nam narodzonemu?
Pastuszkowie przybywajcie
Jemu wdzięcznie przygrywajcie
Jako Panu naszemu.

My zaś sami z piosneczkami
Za wami pospieszymy
A tak Tego Maleńkiego
Niech wszyscy zobaczymy
Jak ubogo narodzony
Płacze w stajni położony
Więc go dziś ucieszymy.

Posted in Christmas, Non-English Hymns, Polish Hymns, The Church Year | Leave a comment

Come With Us, O Blessed Jesus

Come with us, O blessed Jesus,
with us evermore to be.
And, in leaving now thine altar,
let us nevermore leave thee!
Let thy bright celestial chorus
never cease the heav’nly strain;
but in us, thy loving children,
come with peace, good will to reign.

Words: John Henry Hopkins, 19th C.
Music:Werde Munter” Johann Schop, 1642.

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Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.
Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.

Words: Martin Janus, 1661; tr. ascr. Robert S. Bridges, ca. 19th C.
Music:Werde Munter” Johann Schop, 1642.

Here is the original German text of the hymn:

Jesus bleibet meine Freude
meines Herzens Trost und Saft,
Jesus wehret allem Leide,
er ist meines Lebens Kraft,
meiner Augen Lust und Sonne,
meiner Seele Schatz und Wonne;
darum laß’ ich Jesum nicht
aus dem Herzen und Gesicht.

Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe,
o wie feste halt’ ich ihn,
daß er mir mein Herze labe,
wenn ich krank und traurig bin.
Jesum hab’ ich, der mich liebet
und sich mir zu eigen giebet,
ach drum laß’ ich Jesum nicht,
wenn mir gleich mein Herze bricht.

Posted in German Hymns, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Non-English Hymns | Leave a comment

Boldly Spake The Virgin Pure

Boldly spake the Virgin pure,
Knowing her own chastity,
Unto Holy Gabriel:
“Dark thy saying is to me.
How, O Angel, can this be,
This begetting without seed?”

Longing deeply now to know
That which man’s mind cannot grasp,
Blessèd Mary did cry out:
“How can this thing come to pass,
That a Virgin womb bears child?
Tell me.” Pled the Virgin mild.

Fearfully now made reply
Th’envoy sent from up above
“Rejoice, thou Initiate
To the counsels of our God!”
Rejoice, Keeper of things best
Kept by holy silence blest!”

“Rejoice, One who art the first
Of the wonders of the Christ!
Rejoice, O thou queenly Head
Of His mysteries so bright!
Rejoice, heav’nward Ladder dear,
By which God descendeth here!”

“Rejoice, earthly Bridge who dost
Carry sons of earth to heav’n!
Rejoice, Marvel sung in song
Oft by angel hosts in heav’n!
Rejoice, whom all hell below
Dirges as its wound and woe!”

Rejoice, who the Light brought forth
And to none has how revealed!
Rejoice, who outsoar’st the wise,
And who faithful minds hast healed;
Who on the outpourest Light!
Rejoice, Thou unwedded Bride!”

Words: Based on the second Kontakion and Ode of the Akathist Hymn. Noah Townsend, Copyright 2015.
Tune:Voller Wunder” Johann G. Ebeling, 1666.
Alternate Tune:Redhead
Richard Redhead, 1853.

Here is the original Greek text of this section of the Akathisτ Hymn:

Βλέπουσα ἡ Ἁγία,
ἑαυτήν ἐν ἁγνείᾳ,
φησὶ τῷ Γαβριὴλ θαρσαλέως῎
τὸ παράδοξόν σου τῆς φωνῆς,
δυσπαράδεκτόν μου τῇ ψυχῇ φαίνεται῎
ἀσπόρου γὰρ συλλήψεως,
τὴν κύησιν πὼς λέγεις κράζων῎
Ἀλληλούια.

Γνῶσιν ἄγνωστον γνῶναι,
ἡ Παρθένος ζητοῦσα,
ἐβόησε πρὸς τὸν λειτουργοῦντα῎
ἐκ λαγόνων ἁγνῶν,
υἷον πῶς ἔσται τεχθῆναι δυνατόν;
λέξον μοι.
Πρὸς ἥν ἐκεῖνος ἔφησεν ἐν φόβῳ,
πλὴν κραυγάζων οὕτω῎
Χαῖρε, βουλῆς ἀπορρήτου μύστις,
χαῖρε, σιγῆς δεομένων πίστις.
Χαῖρε, τῶν θαυμάτων Χριστοῦ τὸ προοίμιον,
χαῖρε, τῶν δογμάτων αὐτοῦ τὸ κεφάλαιον.
Χαῖρε, κλῖμαξ ἐπουράνιε, δι’ ἧς κατέβη ὁ Θεός,
χαῖρε, γέφυρα μετάγουσα ἀπὸ γῆς πρὸς οὐρανόν.
Χαῖρε, τὸ τῶν Ἀγγέλων πολυθρύλητον θαῦμα,
χαῖρε, τὸ τῶν δαιμόνων πολυθρήνητον τραῦμα.
Χαῖρε, τὸ φῶς ἀρρήτως γεννήσασα,
χαῖρε, τὸ πῶς μηδένα διδάξασα.
Χαῖρε, σοφῶν ὑπερβαίνουσα γνῶσιν,
Χαῖρε, πιστῶν καταυγάζουσα φρένας.
Χαῖρε, Νύμφη Ἀνύμφευτε.

Posted in Akathist, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Greek Hymns, Hymns I Wrote, Non-English Hymns, The Blessed Virgin Mary, The Communion of Saints | Leave a comment

Behold My Servant! See Him Rise

Behold My Servant! see Him rise
Exalted in My might!
Him have I chosen, and in Him
I place supreme delight.

On Him, in rich effusion poured,
My Spirit shall descend;
My truths and judgments He shall show
To earth’s remotest end.

Gentle and still shall be His voice,
No threats from Him proceed;
The smoking flax He shall not quench,
Nor break the bruisèd reed.

The feeble spark to flames He’ll raise;
The weak will not despise;
Judgment He shall bring forth to truth,
And make the fallen rise.

The progress of His zeal and power
Shall never know decline,
Till foreign lands and distant isles
Receive the law divine.

He who erected Heav’n’s bright arch,
And bade the planets roll,
Who peopled all the climes of earth,
And formed the human soul,

Thus saith the Lord, Thee have I raised,
My Prophet Thee install;
In right I’ve raised Thee, and in strength
I’ll succor whom I call.

I will establish with the lands
A covenant in Thee,
To give the Gentile nations light,
And set the prisoners free:

Asunder burst the gates of brass;
The iron fetters fall;
And gladsome light and liberty
Are straight restored to all.

I am the Lord, and by the name
Of great Jehovah known;
No idol shall usurp My praise,
Nor mount into My throne.

Lo! former scenes, predicted once
Conspicuous rise to view;
And future scenes, predicted now,
Shall be accomplished too.

Sing to the Lord in joyful strains!
Let earth His praise resound,
Ye who upon the ocean dwell,
And fill the isles around!

O city of the Lord! begin
The universal song;
And let the scattered villages
The cheerful notes prolong.

Let Kedar’s wilderness afar
Lift up its lonely voice;
And let the tenants of the rock
With accents rude rejoice;

Till ‘midst the streams of distant lands
The islands sound His praise;
And all combined, with one accord,
Jehovah’s glories raise.

Words: From Scottish Translations and Paraphrases, ca. 1745
Tune:Nativity” Henry Lahee, 1855.

Posted in Advent, Jesus Christ Our Lord, The Church Year | Leave a comment

Joseph Est Bien Marié

By Request, here’s an old French Carol

Joseph est bien marié (2x)
à la fille de Jessé. (2x)
C’était chose bien nouvelle
D’être mère et pucelle.
Dieu y avait opéré:
Joseph est bien marié.

Et quand ce fut au premier (2x)
Que Dieu voulut nous sauver (2x)
Il fit en terre descendre
Son seul fils Jésus pour prendre
En Marie humanité:
Joseph est bien marié.

Quand Joseph eut aperçu (2x)
Que la femme avait conçu (2x)
Il ne s’en contenta mie,
Fâché fut contre Marie,
Et se voulut en aller:
Joseph est bien marié.

Mais l’ange si lui a dit: (2x)
Joseph n’en aie point dépit, (2x)
Ta sainte femme Marie
Est grosse du fruit de vie.
Elle a conçu sans péché:
Joseph est bien marié.

Les anges y sont venus (2x)
Voir le Rédempteur Jésus. (2x)
De très belle compagnie,
Püis à haute voix jolie
Gloria ils ont chanté:
Joseph est bien marié.

Or prions dévôtement (2x)
De bon coeur et humblement. (2x)
Que paix, joie et bonne vie
Impêtre Dame Marie
A notre nécessité:
Joseph est bien marié.

Words & Music: Traditional French Carol

Posted in Advent, Christmas, French Hymns, Non-English Hymns | 3 Comments

Only Begotten, Word of God Eternal

Only begotten, Word of God eternal,
Lord of creation, merciful and mighty,
List to Thy servants, when their tuneful voices
Rise to Thy presence.

Thus in our solemn feast of dedication,
Graced with returning rites of due devotion,
Ever Thy children, year by year rejoicing,
Chant in Thy temple.

This is Thy palace; here Thy presence-chamber;
Here may Thy servants, at the mystic banquet,
Daily adoring, take the body broken,
Drink of Thy chalice.

Here for Thy children stands the holy laver,
Fountain of pardon for the guilt of nature,
Cleansed by whose water springs a race anointed,
Liegemen of Jesus.

Here in our sickness healing grace aboundeth,
Light in our blindness, in our toil refreshment;
Sin is forgiven, hope o’er fear prevaileth,
Joy over sorrow.

Hallowed this dwelling where the Lord abideth,
This is none other than the gate of Heaven;
Strangers and pilgrims, making homes eternal,
Pass through its portals.

Lord, we beseech Thee, as we throng Thy temple,
By Thy past blessings, by Thy present bounty,
Smile on Thy children, and with tender mercy,
Hear our petitions.

God in three Persons, Father everlasting,
Son co-eternal, ever blessèd Spirit,
Thine be the glory, praise and adoration,
Now and forever.

Words: Anonymous, ca. 9th Century; tr. Maxwell J. Blackner, 1884.
Tune:Iste Confessor” from the Poitiers Antiphoner, 1746.

Here is the original Latin text of this hymn:

Christe, cunctorum dominator alme
mente supremi generate Patris,
supplicum voces pariterque carmen
cerne benignus.

Cerne, quod templi, Deus ad decorem
plebs tua supplex resonet per ædem,
annuo cujus redeunt colenda
tempore festa.

Hæc domus surgit tibi dedicata
rite, ubi sumit populus sacratum
Corpus ex aris, bibit et beati
Sanguinis haustum.

Hic sacrosancti latices nocentum
diluunt culpas, perimuntque noxas:
chrismate invicto genus et creatur
christicolarum.

Hic salus ægris, medicina fessis,
lumen et cæcis datur: hic reatu,
Christe, nos solvis; timor atque mæror
pellitur omnis.

Dæmonis sævi perit hic rapina:
pervicax monstrum pavet, et retentos
deserens artus, fugit in remotas
ocyus auras.

Hic locus Regis vocitatur aula
nempe coelestis, rutilansque coeli
porta, quæ vitæ patriam petentes
accipit omnes.

Turbo quem nullus quatit, aut vagantes
diruunt venti; penetrantque nimbi,
hanc domum tetris piceus tenebris
tartarus horret.

Ergo te votis petimus sereno
annuas vultu; famulos gubernes,
qui tui summo celebrant amore
gaudia templi.

Nulla nos vitæ cruciet procella:
sint dies læti placidæque noctes
nullus ex nobis, pereunte mundo,
sentiat ignem.

Hæc dies, in quo tibi consecratum,
conspicis templum, tribuat perenne
gaudium nobis, vigeatque longo
temporis usu.

Laus poli summum resonet Parentem
laus, Patris Natum pariterque Sanctum
Spiritum dulci moduletur hymno
omne per ævum. Amen.

Posted in Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Dedication of A Church, Holy Mother Church, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Latin Hymns, Non-English Hymns | Leave a comment