The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

First Of Martyrs, Thou Whose Name

For St. Stephen's Day
See: Hymns to St Stephen

Words: Latin by J. B. de Santeuil
Translations by I. Williams
Adapted by Compilers

Music: "Lubeck," by Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen (1670-1739) in his Gesangbuch, 1704
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Meter: 77 77

Source: Hymns Ancient and Modern. London: William Clowes and Sons, Ltd., 1922, #65, p. 65.

1. First of Martyrs, thou whose name1
Doth thy golden crown proclaim,
Not of flowers that fade away
Weave we this thy crown today.

2. Bright the stones which bruise thee gleam,
Sprinkled with thy life-blood's stream;
stars around thy sainted head
Never could such radiance shed.

3. Every wound upon Thy brow
Sparkles with unearthly glow;
Like an Angel's is thy face
Beaming with celestial grace.

4. Oh, how blessed first to be
Slain for Him Whose bled for thee;
First like Him in dying hour
Witness to Almighty power;

5. First to follow where He trod
Through the deep Red Sea of blood;
First, but in thy footsteps press
Saints and Martyrs numberless.

6. Glory to the Father be
Glory, Virgin-born, to Thee,
Glory to the Holy Ghost,
Praised by men and heavenly host.


1. Footnote to first line states “The word Stephen means a crown.” Source: The Book of Common Praise, Being The Hymn Book Of The Anglican Church of Canada. Toronto: Oxford University Press, No Date, #83, p. 24.

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