The Hymns and Carols of Christmas


Compare:  All Praise to Thee Eternal God

Words: Gelobet seist du, Martin Luther, 1535.
Based on John 1:14
Stanza 1 based on Latin sequence, 11th century
Author (Stanzas 2-5 ): Martin Luther, 1524
Translated by: Anonymous, Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858.

Music: "Puer Nobis Nascitur," Trier manuscript, 15th Century. Adapted by Michael Praetorius, 1609; harmony by George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1910
MIDI / Noteworthy ComposerPDF / XML
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ,
based on an ancient melody, c. 1400
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML

1. All praise to Thee, Eternal Lord,
Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;
Choosing a manger for Thy throne,
While worlds on worlds are Thine alone.

2. Once did the skies before Thee bow;
A virgin's arms contain Thee now,
While angels, who in Thee rejoice,
Now listen for Thine infant voice.

3. A little Child, Thou art our Guest,
That weary ones in Thee may rest;
Forlorn and lowly is Thy birth;
That we may rise to heaven from earth.

4. Thou comest in the darksome night
To make us children of the light;
To make us, in the realms divine,
Like Thine own angels round Thee shine.

5. All this for us Thy love hath done;
By this to Thee our love is won;
For this we tune our cheerful lays,
And sing our thanks in ceaseless praise.

Sheet Music "Wareham" by William Knapp (1738) from Henry Sloane Coffin and Ambrose White Vernon, eds., Hymns of the Kingdom of God. New York: The A. S. Barnes Company, 1910, #38, p. 74.

Notes from The Hymnuts
"All Praise to Thee, Eternal God," is based on a 11th century Latin sequence, Grates nunc omnes reddamus, which had become popular in the vernacular throughout Germany. It was first found in manuscript around 1370, and there is some evidence that it might even have been sung in the services of the church before the Reformation, with the priests doing the singing and the congregation joining at the close of each stanza by chanting "Kyrie, Eleison!" To this, Martin Luther added six stanzas and published the hymn first on broadsheet in late 1523 or early 1524, and then in Erfurt Enchiridia, 1524.

Authorship Unknown (87 88 4)
This tune appeared with the text to "All Praise to You, Eternal Lord" on the broadsheet as well as in the 1524 Erfurt Enchiridia, and could be the tune associated with the original German stanza. Although, it is not known for sure since no pre-Reformation source exists. The harmonization was prepared by Jan Bender for the Worship Supplement, 1969, to The Lutheran Hymnal.


John 1:14: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." King James Version. Source: Project Gutenberg, URL: Site last accessed on July 23, 2006. Return

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