The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In Excelsis Gloria

When Christ Was Born of Mary Free

For Christmas Eve, For Christmas

Words: English Traditional, 15th Century

Version 3
There are numerous variations of this carol.
See Notes under When Christ Was Born of Mary Free (Bramley and Stainer, with sheet music)

1. When Christ was born of Mary free,
In Bethlehem that fair city,
Angels sang there with mirth and glee:
"In excelsis gloria."

Chorus
In Excelsis gloria, In Excelsis gloria,
In Excelsis gloria, In Excelsis gloria.

2. The King is come to save mankind,
As in the scripture truths we find,
Therefore this song we have in mind,
"In Excelsis gloria." Chorus

3. Then, dearest Lord, for Thy great grace,
Grant us in bliss to see Thy face,
That we may sing to Thy solice,
"In Excelsis gloria" Chorus

Sheet Music from Rev. Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), No. 25, p. 33

Pettman_25-When_Christ_Was_Born_Of_Mary_Free.jpg (461286 bytes)

This version contained an additional second verse:

Herdsmen beheld the Angels bright,
To them appearing with great light;
Who said, God's Son is born to-night,
"In excelsis gloria."

The version by Pettman in his earlier Modern Christmas Carols (1892) differs in several respects. See: In Excelsis Gloria - Version 4.

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