The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

How Bright Appears the Morning Star

Alternate Title: The Morning Star

For Christmas-tide

Words: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, Philipp Nicolai, 1597
Translation by Rev. William Mercer,
Erroneously attributed to J. C. Jacobi who had a hymn with the same title in his
Psalmodia Germanica, 1722.
See: How Bright Appears The Morning Star

Music: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, Philip Nicolai, 1599.
The melody is said to be from an older tune from Strasbourg, circa 1538.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML

Also: "Frankfort"

Meter: 887 887 48 48

Source: Rev. William Mercer, The Church Psalter and Hymn Book (London: James Nisbet and Co., 1854, 1863), #15, p. 103.

Also found in The Book of Christmas Hymns (London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1868), pp. 47-48.

1. How bright appears the Morning Star,
With mercy beaming from afar!
The host of heaven rejoices!
O righteous Branch! O Jesse's Rod!
Thou Son of man and Son of God!
We, too, will lift our voices,
Jesu! Jesu!
Holy, holy! yet most lowly!
Draw thou near us:
Great Immanuel, stoop and hear us.

 2. Though circled by the hosts on high,
He deigned to cast a pitying eye
Upon his helpless creature:
The whole creation's Head and Lord,
By highest seraphim adored,
Assumed our very nature;
Jesu! grant us,
Through thy merit, to inherit
Thy salvation:
Hear, oh, hear our supplication.

3. Then will we to the world make known
The love Thou hast to outcasts shown,
In calling them before thee:
And seek each day to be more meet
To join the throng who at thy feet
Unceasingly adore thee.
Living, dying,
From thy praises, mighty Jesus!
Cease we never;
Sing we forth Thy name for ever!

4. Rejoice, ye heavens; thou earth, reply!
With praise, ye sinners, fill the sky!
For this his incarnation.
Incarnate God, put forth thy power,
Ride on, ride on, great Conqueror,
Till all know thy salvation.
Amen, amen!
Hallelujah, hallelujah!
Praise be given
Evermore, by earth and heaven.


Sheet music, "Frankfort" (PM) from William Mercer, The Church Psalter and Hymn Book, #15, p. 103.


Sheet music from Psalmodia Germanica, 1722


With the first line changed to "How brightly shines the morning star," this carol is also found under the name "How Brightly Shines The Morning Star."  But see: How Brightly Shines the Morning Star.

There are a large number of translations of this beautiful hymn. See the notes under Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern.

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