The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

As I lay upon a nyȝt

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

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Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols from a Manuscript in the British Museum of the Fifteenth Century (London: Printed by Richards for The Warton Club, 1856), Hymn LXIV, pp. 88-89.

Alma Redemptoris mater.

As I lay upon a nyȝt,
My thowt was on a mayde bryȝt
That men callyn Mary of myȝt,
    Redemptoris mater.

To here cam Gabriel so bryȝt,
And seyde, "Heyl, Mari, ful of myȝt,
To be cald thou art adyȝt

After that word that mayde bryȝt
Anon conseyvyd God of myȝt,
And tlierby wyst men that che hyȝt,

Ryȝt as the sunne schynit in glas,
So Jhesu in his moder was,
And therby wyst man that che was hyȝt

Now is born that babe of blys,
And qwen of hevene is moder is ;
And therfore think me that che is

After to hevene he tok his flyȝt,
And ther he sit with his fader of myȝt,
With hym is crownyd that lady bryȝt,
    Redemptoris mater.

Editor's Note:

Alma Redemptoris Mater means “Loving Mother of our Saviour.” It is one of four Latin Marian antiphons sung during the Daily Office; the other three are Ave Regina cælorum, the Regina cœli and the Salve Regina. For the Latin and English texts, see Alma Redemptoris Mater (at EWTN) and Alma Redemptoris Mater at the Marion Library. For general information, including texts, see Alma Redemptoris Mater at Wikipedia.

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