The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Today Let Heaven And Earth In Prophecy Rejoice

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 William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898)

Music: Not Stated

Source: William Chatterton Dix, Four Joyful Hymns for Christmas Tide (London: G. J. Palmer, circa 1865), Hymn #1, pp. 1-2.

I. "The tabernacle of God is with men."

    To-day let heaven and earth
    In prophecy rejoice; --
    Angels and men with mirth
    Uplift exultant voice;
Born of a Maiden, God appears,
Light, those who sit in darkness, cheers.

    The cave and manger, veil
    In mortal Flesh our King;
    The Shepherds tell the tale,
    The Magi presents bring:
From far off East they come; with them,
Let us now go to Bethlehem.

    Unworthy lips are these
    The angel words to take
    And yet the lowly please,
    Who sing for Christ's dear Sake.
So, "Glory be to God on high.
And Peace, on earth Goodwill," we cry.

    Of Virgin-Mother born,
    Desire of every land,
    God comes this happy morn
    And saves from Satan‘s hand:
From bondage which no more shall be,
This Blessed Child hath set us free.

Note from Mr. Dix:

From the Greek of John the Monk. 8th Century. Vide Dr. Littledale’s Offices of the Holy Eastern Church.

Note from Editor:

Compare: Littledale's translation, Let Heaven And Earth Today Rejoice In Prophecy. See also the 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 "Menća."

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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