The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Wondrous Mystery, Full of Passing Grace

μυστηριον ζενον.

Ode IX, Canon for Christmas Day

St. Cosmas of Jerusalem, the Melodist (A. D. 760)

Source: Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D., Hymns of the Eastern Church. First Edition. (London: J. T. Hayes, 1862)

Meter: 10,10,10,10,7,7

O wond'rous mystery, full of passing grace!
    The grot becometh Heav’n: the Virgin’s breast
The bright Cherubic Throne: the stall that place,
    Where He, Who fills all space, vouchsafes to rest:
        CHRIST our GOD, to Whom we raise
        Hymns of thankfulness and praise!

The course propitious of the unknown Star
    The Magi1 followed on its heavenly way,—
Until it led them, beckoning from afar,
    To where the CHRIST, the King of all things, lay:
        Him in Bethlehem they find,
        Born the SAVIOUR of mankind.

Where is the Child,” they ask, “the new-born King,
    Whose herald-light is glittering in the sky,—
To Whom our offerings and our praise we bring?”
    And Herod’s heart is troubled utterly.
        Armed for war with GOD, in vain
        Would he see that Infant slain.

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 Ćcumenical Throne.


1. In subsequent editions: Wise-men. Return

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