The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In Bethlehem Is He Born

Words: Saint Anatolius, 5th Century
Source: Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D., Hymns of the Eastern Church. First Edition. (London: J. T. Hayes, 1862). Translation by Dr. Neale.

        In Bethlehem is He born,
Maker of all things, everlasting GOD!
        He opens Eden’s gate,
Monarch of Ages! Thence the fiery sword
        Gives glorious passage; thence
That severing mid-wall overthrown, the Powers
        Of earth and Heav’n are one:
Angels and men renew their ancient league,
        The pure rejoin the pure
In happy union! Now the Virgin-womb,
        Like some cherubic throne,
Containeth Him, the Uncontainable:
        Bears Him, Who while they bear
The Seraphs tremble: bears Him, as He comes
        To shower upon the world
The fulness of His everlasting love.

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 Æcumenical Throne.

Note on the Sheet Music:
From the Aposticha at Vespers on the Procertion of Christmas, December 20th.

Note:

This hymn occurs in Neale's First Edition, but is omitted from the Second and Third editions, according to a note in the Fourth Edition edited by Very Rev. Stephen Georgeson Hatherly, Mus. B., Archpriest of the Patriarchal Æcumenical Throne, who adds the hymn in an appendix on p. 190.

Dr. Neale provided this biographical note concerning St. Anatolius:

S. Anatolius.

+ 458.

The first poet who emancipated himself from the tyranny of the old laws—hence to be compared to Venantius Fortunatus in the West—and who boldly struck out the new path of harmonious prose, was S. Anatolius of Constantinople. His commencements were not promising. He had been apocrisiarius, or legate, from the arch-heretic Dioscorus to the Emperor’s Court: and at the death of S. Flavian, in consequence of the violence received in the “Robbers’ Meeting” at Ephesus, A.D. 449, was, by the influence of his Pontiff, raised to the vacant throne of Constantinople. He soon, however, vindicated his orthodoxy; and in the Council of Chalcedon, he procured the enactment of the famous 28th Canon, by which, (in spite of all the efforts of Rome,) Constantinople was raised to the second place among Patriarchal Sees. Having governed his Church eight years in peace, he departed to his rest in A.D. 458. His compositions are not numerous, and are almost all short, but they are usually very spirited.

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.