The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Let Heaven Rejoice, And Earth Be Glad

For the Annunciation

Words: Εύφραινέσδωσαν οί ούρανοι by John of Damascus, from the Greek Office of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in the "Mena."
Translation by
Richard Frederick Littledale

Music: Not Stated
Meter: Common Meter

Source: Richard Frederick Littledale, ed., The People's Hymnal. 6th Edition. (London: J. Masters and Co., 1877),  #244, p. 90.

1. Let heaven rejoice, and earth be glad.
     For He who reigns above.
With all his Father's glory clad.
     Hath shown his perfect love.

2. Brought low, to save mankind from doom.
     As God the Father bade,
He came into the hallowed womb
     Of Mary, stainless Maid.

3. O wonder of surpassing might !
     With men dwells God the Son ;
The womb contains the Infinite,
     Time holds the timeless One.

4. O strange conception, pure from spot,
     O lowliness untold,
O mystery too deep for thought,
     O bounty manifold !

5. God made Himself of glory bare
     Our mortal flesh to take.
When to the Virgin pure and fair
     The Angel greeting spake.

6. Hail, Mary, thou art full of grace.
     Blest evermore art thou ;
The Lord, whose mercies all embrace.
     Himself is with thee now.

Editor's Note:

Appeared earlier in William Chatterton Dix, ed., Hymns and Carols for Children (London: W. Knott, 1869), #25, p. 22-23 with one difference: the word "Humbled" in place of "Brought low" in Line 1 of Verse 2.

Also found in Bernhard Pick, ed., Hymns and Poetry of the Eastern Church (New York: Eaton & Mains, 1908), pp. 130-131. Mr. Pick had this biographical note concerning John of Damascas (Died about A. D. 780):

John of Damascus stands in the first rank of Greek hymnists. He was the last but one of the fathers of the Greek Church, and the greatest of her poets. As a poet he had a principal share in the "Octoechus," which contains the Sunday services of the Eastern Church. He is the author of a canon for Christmas Day, beginning, Εσωσε λαόν, δαυματουργων Δεσπότης, and the odes are sung in service alternately with those of Cosmas's Χριστός γενναται δοξασατε (Christ Is Born! Tell Forth His Fame!).

Similar is Littledale's translation from Cosmos' Office of Christmas Day, The First Hour, Let Heaven And Earth Today Rejoice In Prophecy, and Today Let Heaven And Earth In Prophecy Rejoice (Translation by W. Chatterton Dix).

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