The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Truly At The Manger Shed

"Bethlehem and Tabor"

The Nativity As Christ's First Transfiguration
For Christmas, Epiphany, Transfiguration

Words: William Chatterton Dix

Music: Not Stated

Source: Orby Shipley, ed., Lyra Messianica: Hymns and Verses on the Life of Christ, Ancient and Modern (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1864), pp. 154-155.

1. Truly at the Manger-shed
Lord, wast Thou transfigured ;
When, where lowing oxen fed,
Thou didst lay Thy lowly Head.

2. All the Glory then seemed o'er
Which was ever Thine before,
Christ, Thy Throne a stable floor,
Whom the highest Heavens adore.

3. Thou of nine-fold Orders blest,
In the realm of Life confest,
Then for us didst deign to rest
On the Mother-maiden's Breast.

4. Truly this the Mountain-height,
Whence the very Light of Light,
Streaming out upon the night.
Made the earth's dark places bright.

5. Thou the Lord of all the years,
Maker of the countless spheres,
Knew'st our human wants and fears,
Liv'dst a Life of toil and tears.

6. Three-and-thirty years of woe.
Thou for man didst undergo ;
Cross and Passion, Scourge and Blow,
Not a pain wouldst Thou forego.

7. God Incarnate ! Theme most high,
Ring it out in melody :
Let our Carols pierce the sky,
Jesus takes Mortality.

8. Fairer far than Tabor's Grace,
Now, O Lord, Thy Dwelling-place ;
There may we behold Thy Face,
Only Hope of sinful race.

Editor's Note.

The Transfiguration is recorded in all three synoptic gospels: Matt. 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36. All three report that Jesus took Peter, James and John to "a high mountain apart." Although this mountain is not identified by name in the Bible, many Christians have long considered Mount Tabor to be the Mount of the Transfiguration. The Feast of the Transfiguration is celebrated at various times by the various Christian churches including the last Sunday in Epiphany, the second Sunday in Lent, the eighth Sunday after Pentecost, and August 6.

Matthew 17:1-8 (King James Version).

1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

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