The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Day, A Day of Glory!

For Christmas

Words: John Mason Neale, based on a French Noel
See: Additional Christmas Carols & Hymns of John Mason Neale

Music: Old French Carol, harmonization by Charles Wood", according to Rev. Hutchins.
According to Edmund Sedding, his arrangement was
"The Melody as sung in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Chartres."

Source: Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), #Carol 280.
Also found in Mary Sackville Lawson, et al, eds., Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols of John Mason Neale (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), p. 308.

1. A day, a day of glory!
    A day that ends our woe!
A day that tells of triumph
    Against our vanquish'd foe!
Yield, summer's brightest sunrise,
    To this December morn:
Lift up your gates, ye Princes1
    And let the Child be born!

2. With Gloria in excelsis
Archangels tell their mirth:
With Kyrie eleyson
Men answer upon the earth:
And angels swell the triumph,
    And mortals raise the horn,
Life up you gates, ye Princes,
    And let the Child be born.

3. He comes, His throne the manger;
    He comes, His shrine the stall;
The ox and ass His courtiers,
    Who made and governs all:
The "House of Bread" His birth place,
    The Prince of wine and corn:
Lift up your gates, ye Princes,
    And let the Child be born.

4. Then bar the gates, that henceforth
    None thus may passage win,
Because the Prince of Israel
    Alone hath entered in:
The earth, the sky, the ocean
    His glorious way adorn:
Lift up your gates, ye Princes,
    And let the Child be born.


1. Note from Edmund Seddings: "In allusion to the old reading of Psalm XXIV. 7." ["Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in." KJV]

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Sheet music from  "Three Christmas Carols (Old French)," Arranged for Four Voices by Edmund Sedding. (London: Novello and Company, Limited; New York: The H. W. Gray Co.), reproduced in The Musical Times and Singing-class Circular, Number 825, Volume 52 (Nov. 1, 1911), printed between pp. 734 and 735.

1-A_Day-Sedding.jpg (85787 bytes)
The other two carols were Masters In The Hall and Ye Who Walk In Darkness.
Also found in Sedding, ed., Antient Carols for Christmas and Other Tides

Sheet Music from Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), #280.

A Day A Day 280.gif (148088 bytes)

Sheet Music from George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley Carol Book, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1902, Revised and Expanded Edition 1929), Carol #37. "Tune: An Old French Carol, Harmonized by Charles Wood.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

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