The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

What Beauteous Sun-Surpassing Star

For Epiphany and Octave.

Words: Quĉ stella sole pulchrior by C. Coffin.

Translation:  Robert Campbell, of Sherrington

Source: St. Basil's Hymnal. New York: Benziger Brothers, 12th Edition.

1. What beauteous sun-surpassing Star
    O'er Bethlehem's lonely road,
Reveals a rising brighter far,
    And shows the cradled God.
The Star from Jacob see arise,
    By prophets long foretold;
Ye Eastern nations, in the skies,
    His messenger behold.

2. While thus the Star its light imparts,
    A ray within doth shine.
Which leads a few but faithful hearts
    To seek the glorious sign.
No dangers can their purpose shake
    Love suffers no delay;
Home, kindred, country, they forsake,
    God calls, and they obey.

3. Jesus, bright morning Star, our hearts
    Cleanse with Thy light within.
And suffer not the tempter's arts
    To lure us back to sin.
The Light of Gentile lands adore
    The Day-spring from on high
Alike the Father evermore,
    And Spirit magnify.

Sheet Music


Also found in Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), p. 42-43. Note from Shipley:

45. Qua stella sole pulchrior. Vespers Hymn from the Paris Breviary, by C. Coffin. What beauteous sun-surpassing star, Robert Campbell. 42

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