The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Lands That See The Sun Arise

For Christmas

Words: "A Solis Ortus Cardine" from "Paean Alphabeticus de Christo" Caelius Sedulius, 5th Century
Translated from Latin to English by John Mason Neale in Hymnal Noted, 1862.

Music: "St. Johnís Highlands," composer unknown.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
"Alstone," Christopher Edwin Willing (1830-1904)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
"Canonbury," adapted from Robert Alexander Schumannís "NachtstŁck," Opus 23, No. 4, 1839
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer/ XML
"Duke Street," attributed to John Hatton, 1793
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer/ XML

Now Praise We Christ, the Holy One
From East To West

Source: George Radcliffe Woodward, ed., Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), # 21

1. From lands that see the sun arise,
To earthís remotest boundaries,
The virgin born today we sing,
The Son of Mary, Christ the King.

2. Blest Author of this earthly frame,
To take a servantís form he came,
That, liberating flesh by flesh,
Whom He had made might live afresh.

3. In that chaste parentís holy womb,
Celestial grace hath found its home:
And she, as earthly bride unknown,
Yet call that Offspring blest her own.

4. The mansion of the modest breast
Becomes a shrine where God shall rest:
The pure and undefiled one
Conceived in her womb the Son.1

5. That Son, that Royal Son she bore,
Whom Gabriel had told afore:2
Whom, in his Mother yet concealed,
The Infant Baptist had revealed.

6. The manger and the straw He bore,
The cradle did He not abhor:
By milk in infant portion fed,
Who gives ev'n fowls their daily bread.3

7. The heavenly chorus fill'd the sky,
The Angels sang to God on high,
What time to shepherds, watching lone
They made creationís Shepherd known.

8. For that4 thine Advent glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee;
With Father and with Holy Ghost,
From men and from the heav'nly host. Amen.


1. Or: She by a word conceived the Son. Return

2. Or: announced before. Return

3. Or:

6. The cradle and the straw He bore,
The manger did He not abhor:
A little milk His infant fare,
Who feedeth e'en each fowl of air. Return

4. Or: this Thine Advent ... Return

Sheet Music "Morning Hymn" 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), #64, p. 97.
Text: "Altered from Hymnal Noted"

"Original Melody of the Vth Century, reduced.
Harmony by
Dr. F. Layriz"

Notes from Rev. Matthew Britt, O.S.B., Hymns from the Breviary and Missal (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1922), pp. 102-104.

Author: Sedulius, 5th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation [of From Lands That See The Sun Arise] by J. M. Neale. There are eighteen translations, two of which are in the Annus Sanctus. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds on Christmas Day. This is a part (from A to G) of an alphabetical hymn, the stanzas of which begin with successive letters of the alphabet. This hymn and No. 46, Crudelis Herodes, Deum, are parts of the same hymn. Together they give in verse a devout description of the life of Christ.

1. "From the beginning of the rising of the sun, to the uttermost bounds of the earth, let us sing Christ, the Lord, born of the Virgin Mary." Cardine, lit., a hinge, also in astron. a pole: cardo mundi, cardo coeli. A solis ortu usque ad occasum laudabile nomen Domini (Ps. 112, 3).

2. "The Blessed Creator of the world assumed a servile body, that by flesh, He might liberate flesh, lest He lose those whom He had created." Servile corpus: formam servi accipiens (Phil. 2, 7). Ut carne carnem liberans: That by His incarnation He might liberate mankind from the power of the devil.

3. "A heavenly grace enters the bosom of the chaste Mother: the womb of a virgin bears secrets, which she had not thought of." Gratia, in the sense of the "Author of grace." Secreta: the incarnate Son of God. Non noverat: Mary had no foreknowledge of the mystery that was to be wrought in her womb.

4. "The mansion of her modest bosom suddenly becomes the temple of God: unsullied, knowing not man, she conceived in her womb a Son." Nesciens virum, (cf. Luke 1, 34-41).

5. "The Mother brought forth Him whom Gabriel had predicted, whom the Baptist, exulting had perceived, though still enclosed in the womb of his mother." Puerpera, from puer and parere. Baptista gestiens: Et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariś Elisabeth, exultavit infans in utero ejus: et repleta est Spiritu sancto Elisabeth (Luke 1, 41). The first chapter of St. Luke's Gospel is very beautiful. It contains two sublime canticles, the Magnificat (verses 46-55), and the Benedictus (verses 68-79).

6. "He deigned to lie on hay, nor did He disdain the crib: and He, by whose providence not even a bird suffers hunger, is fed with a little milk." Prśsepe, is, manger, crib; this word occurs in several forms; see Glossary.

7. "The choir of Saints rejoices, the Angels hymn their God, and the Shepherd, the Creator of all, became known to the shepherds." For the Scriptural references in this stanza, read Luke 2,13-18.

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