The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Christ Is Born! Tell Forth His Fame!

Χριστος γενναται δοξασατε

For Christmas

This is the first Ode from St. Cosmas's Canon for Christmas Day.

Words: S. Cosmas, died ca. 760 (Greek)
Translation: Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D., Hymns of the Eastern Church (First Edition, 1862)

Music: Composed For This Hymn
By Hermann Rudolph Schrœder

Meter: 7,7,7,11,11,8

Source: Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D., Hymns of the Eastern Church. Fourth Edition. (London: J. T. Hayes, 1882), #25, pp. 64-65, edited by Very Rev. Stephen Georgeson Hatherly, Mus. B., Archpriest of the Patriarchal Ęcumenical Throne.

"The Word was made flesh." - John 1:14.

1. Christ is born! Tell forth His fame!
Christ from Heaven! His love proclaim!
Christ on earth! Exalt His Name!
Sing to the Lord, O world, with exultation!
Break forth in glad thanksgiving, every nation!
    For He hath triumphed gloriously!

2. Man, in God's own Image made,
Man, by Satan's wiles betrayed,
Man, on whom corruption preyed,
Shut out from hope of life and of salvation,
To-day Christ maketh him a new creation,
    For He hath triumphed gloriously!

3. For the Maker, when His foe
Wrought the creature death and woe,
Bowed the Heav'ns, and came below,1
And in the Virgin's womb His dwelling making,
Became True Man, man's very nature taking;
    For He hath triumphed gloriously!

4. He, the Wisdom, Word, and Might,
God, and Son, and Light of light,
Undiscovered by the sight
Of earthly monarch, or infernal spirit,
Incarnate was, that we might Heav'n inherit:
    For He hath triumphed gloriously!

Sheet Music from Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D., Hymns of the Eastern Church. Fourth Edition. (London: J. T. Hayes, 1882), edited by Very Rev. Stephen Georgeson Hatherly, Mus. B., Archpriest of the Patriarchal Ęcumenical Throne.

Sheet Music from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #67, 102-3.

Sheet Music by Ch. Gounod from William Cooke and Benjamin Webb, eds., The Hymnary – A Book of Church Song. (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., 1872), #142, p. 119.

142-Christ_Is_Born-p119.jpg (102514 bytes)

Note from Rev. Neale:

1. The reference is, of course, to Psalm xvlii. 9: "How bowed the Heavens also, and came down."  Return

Note from Rev. Neale:

"This is perhaps the finest, on the whole, of the Canons of Cosmas; and may fairly be preferred to the rival composition of S. John Damascene."

Editor's Note:

St. John Damascene was the step-brother of St. Cosmas.

The composition of St. John Damascene is not identified by Dr. Neale, and is not included in his Hymns of the Eastern Church. However, Rev. William Chatterton Dix gave us these translations from St. John's Canon for Christmas Day:

In 1868, this hymn appeared as "Christ is born ! exalt His name!" in the Sarum Hymnal, No. 45, and has passed in the same form into other collections. See: The Sarum Hymnal (Salisbury: Brown and Co. and W. P. Aylward, 1868), #45, p. 119.

The original text was restored in the Hymnary in 1872, No. 142, p. 119 (1863), four verses with the tune by Charles Gounod. William Cooke and Benjamin Webb, eds., The Hymnary – A Book of Church Song. (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., 1872), #142, p. 119.

Other translations include:

See also:

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