The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Lands That See The Sun Arise

For Christmas
Morning Hymn from Christmas Day to the Epiphany

Words: "A Solis Ortus Cardine" from "Paean Alphabeticus de Christo" Caelius Sedulius, 5th Century, with notes & additional translations.
Translated from Latin to English by John Mason Neale in Hymnal Noted, 1852.

Music: "St. Johnís Highlands," composer unknown.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
"Alstone," Christopher Edwin Willing (1830-1904)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
"Canonbury," adapted from Robert Alexander Schumannís "NachtstŁck," Opus 23, No. 4, 1839
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer/ XML
"Duke Street," attributed to John Hatton, 1793
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer/ XML

Now Praise We Christ, the Holy One
From East To West

Source: Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore, eds., Hymnal Noted, Part I. (London: Novello & Co., 1852), Part II (London: Novello & Co., 1856), #14 (Common Edition #34), pp. 39-41.

Also found in George Radcliffe Woodward, ed., Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908), # 21

1. a From lands that see the sun arise,
To earth's remotest boundaries,
b The Virgin-born to-day we sing,
c The Son of Mary, Christ the King.

2. d Blest Author of this earthly frame,
e To take a servant's form He came,
f That liberating flesh by flesh, 7
g Whom He had made might live afresh.

3. h In that chaste parent's holy womb 9
Celestial grace hath found its home :
i And she, as earthly bride unknown,
Yet calls that Offspring blest her own.

4. k The mansion of the modest breast
Becomes a shrine where God shall rest :
l The pure and undefiled one
Conceived in her womb The Son.1

5. m That Son, that Royal Son she bore,
Whom Gabriel's voice had told afore :2
Whom, in His Mother yet conceal'd,
n The Infant Baptist had reveal'd.

6. o The manger and the straw He bore,
The cradle did He not abhor:
By milk in infant portions fed,
p Who gives e'en fowls their daily bread.3

7. q The Heavenly chorus fill'd the sky,
The Angels sang to God on high,
What time to shepherds, watching lone,
r They made Creation's Shepherd known.

8. For that4 Thine Advent glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee !
With Father, and with Holy Ghost,
From men and from the Heav'nly Host. Amen.


1. Or: She by a word conceived the Son. Return

2. Or: announced before. Return

3. Or:

6. The cradle and the straw He bore,
The manger did He not abhor:
A little milk His infant fare,
Who feedeth e'en each fowl of air. Return

4. Or: this Thine Advent ... Return

Notes from A Short Commentary on the Hymnal Noted (London: Joseph Masters, 1852), p. 15.

This Hymn was written by Sedulius, a Scottish poet, who flourished about A.D. 430.

7. Liberating flesh by flesh. That is, by taking our flesh, and suffering in it, He set free the bodies of men from the power of sin, and also from death, because they will rise again as He rose.  Return

9. "And it came to pass that, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb." (S. Luke i. 41.) Return

Notes from The Words of the Hymnal Noted Complete With Scriptural References (London: J. A. Novello and J. Masters, no date, circa 1855), pp.  39-40.

a. Psalm cxiii. 3. Isaiah lix. 19. Return

b. S. Matt. xiii. 55. S. Mark vi. 3. Return

c. S. John xviii. 37. Return

d. Heb. i. 1. Return

e. Philip. ii. 7. Return

f. 1 S. Pet. ii. 24. Return

g. Isaiah lxiv. 8. Eph. ii. 10. Gal. ii. 20. Return

h. S. Luke i. 31. Return

i. S. Luke i. 34. Return

k. Psalm cxxxii. 8. Return

l. S. Matt. i. 25. Return

m. S. Luke i. 26. Return

n S. Luke 1. 41. Return

o. S. Luke ii. 7. Return

P Psalm cxlvii. 9. Job xxxviii. 41. Return

q. S. Luke ii. 8. Return

r. Psalm lxxx. 1. Psalm xxiii. 1. Isaiah xl. 11. Return

Note from Thomas Helmore, Accompanying Harmonies to the Hymnal Noted. Part I (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., and Masters and Son, 1852), Part II (London: Novello and Co., Joseph Masters and J. T. Hayes, 1858), p. vi.

"A cento from the hymn with the same commencement of Sedulius."

Sheet Music Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore, eds., Hymnal Noted, Part I. (London: Novello & Co., 1852), Part II (London: Novello & Co., 1856), #14, pp. 39-41.

39.jpg (490150 bytes) 40.jpg (308751 bytes) 41.jpg (379073 bytes)

Sheet Music from Thomas Helmore, Accompanying Harmonies to the Hymnal Noted. Part I (London: Novello, Ewer and Co., and Masters and Son, 1852), Part II (London: Novello and Co., Joseph Masters and J. T. Hayes, 1858), #14, A Solis Ortus Cardine.

14-01.jpg (540496 bytes) 14-02.jpg (573438 bytes)

Sheet Music "Morning Hymn" from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #64, p. 97.
Text: "Altered from Hymnal Noted"

"Original Melody of the Vth Century, reduced.
Harmony by
Dr. F. Layriz"

Notes from Rev. Matthew Britt, O.S.B., Hymns from the Breviary and Missal (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1922), pp. 102-104.

Author: Sedulius, 5th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation [From Lands That See The Sun Arise] by J. M. Neale. There are eighteen translations, two of which are in the Annus Sanctus. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds on Christmas Day. This is a part (from A to G) of an alphabetical hymn, the stanzas of which begin with successive letters of the alphabet. This hymn and No. 46, Crudelis Herodes, Deum, are parts of the same hymn. Together they give in verse a devout description of the life of Christ.

1. "From the beginning of the rising of the sun, to the uttermost bounds of the earth, let us sing Christ, the Lord, born of the Virgin Mary." Cardine, lit., a hinge, also in astron. a pole: cardo mundi, cardo coeli. A solis ortu usque ad occasum laudabile nomen Domini (Ps. 112, 3). ["From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised."-KJV]

2. "The Blessed Creator of the world assumed a servile body, that by flesh, He might liberate flesh, lest He lose those whom He had created." Servile corpus: formam servi accipiens (Phil. 2, 7). Ut carne carnem liberans: That by His incarnation He might liberate mankind from the power of the devil.

3. "A heavenly grace enters the bosom of the chaste Mother: the womb of a virgin bears secrets, which she had not thought of." Gratia, in the sense of the "Author of grace." Secreta: the incarnate Son of God. Non noverat: Mary had no foreknowledge of the mystery that was to be wrought in her womb.

4. "The mansion of her modest bosom suddenly becomes the temple of God: unsullied, knowing not man, she conceived in her womb a Son." Nesciens virum, (cf. Luke 1, 34-41).

5. "The Mother brought forth Him whom Gabriel had predicted, whom the Baptist, exulting had perceived, though still enclosed in the womb of his mother." Puerpera, from puer and parere. Baptista gestiens: Et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariś Elisabeth, exultavit infans in utero ejus: et repleta est Spiritu sancto Elisabeth (Luke 1, 41). The first chapter of St. Luke's Gospel is very beautiful. It contains two sublime canticles, the Magnificat (verses 46-55), and the Benedictus (verses 68-79).

6. "He deigned to lie on hay, nor did He disdain the crib: and He, by whose providence not even a bird suffers hunger, is fed with a little milk." Prśsepe, is, manger, crib; this word occurs in several forms; see Glossary.

7. "The choir of Saints rejoices, the Angels hymn their God, and the Shepherd, the Creator of all, became known to the shepherds." For the Scriptural references in this stanza, read Luke 2,13-18.

Translations from Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus. Vol. 1, Part 1. (London & New York: Burns and Oates, 1884):

A Solis Ortus Cardine.

An alphabetical Hymn. Lauds Breviary Hymn by Caius Coelius Sedulius, Fifth Century.

26. From Every Part O'er Which the Sun. Primer, 1706. (Probably) John Dryden. 26 - Part One.

41. From the Far-blazing Gate of Morn. Father Edward Caswall, Birmingham Oratory, 1848. 39 - Part Four.

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