From Heaven Above To Earth I Come
For Christmas Eve
Text based on Luke 2: 1-18
Translation by Catherine Winkworth, 1855.
Music: "All My Heart This Night Rejoices"
Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall
be to all people.
1. From Heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring
Whereof I now will say and sing:
2. To you this night is born a child
Of Mary, chosen mother mild;
This little child, of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all your earth.
3. 'Tis Christ our God who far on high
Hath heard your sad and bitter cry;
Himself will your Salvation be,
Himself from sin will make you free.
4. He brings those blessings, long ago
Prepared by God for all below;
Henceforth His kingdom open stands
To you, as to the angel bands.
5. These are the tokens ye shall mark,
The swaddling clothes and manger dark;
There shall ye find the young child laid,
By whom the heavens and earth were made.
6. Now let us all with gladsome cheer
Follow the shepherds, and draw near
To see this wondrous gift of God
Who hath His only Son bestowed.
7. Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
Who is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this child so young and fair?
The blessed Christ-child lieth there.
8. Welcome to earth, Thou noble guest,
Through whom e'en wicked men are blest!
Thou com'st to share our misery,
What can we render, Lord, to Thee!
9. Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How hast Thou made Thee weak and small,
That Thou must choose Thy infant bed
Where ass and ox but lately fed!
10. Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.
11. For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou King, so rich and great,
As 'twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.
12. Thus hath it pleased Thee to make plain
The truth to us poor fools and vain,
That this world's honour, wealth and might
Are nought and worthless in Thy sight.
13. Ah! dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.
14. My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I too must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle-song—
15. Glory to God in highest Heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad New Year to all the earth.
Sheet Music from William Sterndale Bennett and Otto Goldschmidt, eds., The Chorale Book For England. Congregational Edition. (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1863, Supp. 1865), Translator: Catherine Winkworth, #30.
Sheet Music to "Original Tune" from William Sterndale Bennett and Otto Goldschmidt, eds., The Chorale Book For England. (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1863), Translator: Catherine Winkworth, #30.
Luther designed this originally as an extended exposition of the angel’s declaration to the shepherds followed by the shepherds’ response. We then enter the picture welcoming our Savior. Altogether, it forms fourteen stanzas [sic.] (see Lutheran Worship, 1982 [Missouri Synod] numbers 37 and 38.) Together, this entire package forms a whole piece of teaching and admonition as well as gratitude to God.
Source: Trinity Hymnal Commentary, 1990 Hymnal by Leonard Payton
If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.