The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Let Heaven And Earth Today Rejoice In Prophecy

For Christmas
At the First Hour of the Night

Words: A Hymn of John the Monk, 8th Century,
from the "Office for Christmas Day," άχολονθια τής Χρίστον γεννήσεως, The First Hour
Translation by Richard Frederick Littledale

Music: First Tone

Source: Richard Frederick Littledale, Offices From The Service Books of the Holy Eastern Church (London: Williams and Norgate, 1863), "The Office of Christmas Day," pp. 173-208.


The following is from the "Office of Christmas Day," for the First Hour of the Night.

Collected again in the Church, we begin Compline according to custom, and after the Glory be to GOD on high, we go out into the Narthex making the Procession, and chanting there Idiomelic stichera to the first tone.

Let heaven and earth today
Rejoice in prophecy.
Angels and men, in spirit we exult,
For GOD hath in the flesh appeared
To those who sat in darkness and in shadow,
Born of a Maiden.
The cave and manger shewed us Him.
The Shepherds tell the wondrous tale,
From the East the Magi bring
Offerings to Bethlehem;
We too, with unworthy lips,
Bring Him praise in angel words,
Glory be to GOD on high,
And on earth be peace,
For the Desire of the nations now hath come,
He hath come, and He hath saved us
From the bondage of the foe.


Compare Today Let Heaven And Earth In Prophecy Rejoice (Translation by W. Chatterton Dix).

Similar: Let Heaven Rejoice, And Earth Be Glad - John of Damascus, Εύφραινέσδωσαν οί ούρανοι (Littledale); from the Greek Office of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in the "Mena."

See: Office of Christmas Day - St Cosmas - Richard Frederick Littledale, Offices From The Service Books of the Holy Eastern Church (1863).

See generally: Christmas-tide Hymns from the Eastern Churches.

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