The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Now Sing We All Full Sweetly

Words: Lucas Le Moigne, 1520

Music: "Poitou"
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer

Source: Carol #721, Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

Now sing we all full sweetly
Of Holy Mary's fame!
Who for her grace, right meekly,
Received her blessed name.

1. (M) To save this race of mortals,
The prophets old did say,
That Christ would leave heav'n's portals,
As Man with men to stay;
(W) And Mary, purest maiden,
By God's most sure decree
Was with this duty laden,
His Mother here to be.

2. (M) Now tell us, blessed Mary,
What messenger did bring
To thee the news so wondrous,
Of Christ our Heavenly King.
(W) 'Twas Gabriel, the white-robbed,
Who brought this news to men,
That Christ, the God incarnate,
An infant mild would be.

3. (M) And what said he, O Mary,
This angel when he spake,
When he foretold that Jesus
On earth our form should take?
(W) He said, "The Lord be with thee,
For full of grace thou art,
And thou art highly favoured,
Thou meek and pure of heart."

4. (M) Now tell us, blessed Mary
Say where didst thou above
When Gabriel did promise
This first great Christmas-tide.
(W) In Galilee I rested,
In holy love and fear,
And in my meditation
The Angel did appear.

5. (M) Did shepherds from the mountains
In humble garb and meek,
With joyous exultation
The Holy Infant seek?
(M) They sought the humble manger,
And soon as they did see
The new-born Prince of Glory,
They sank on bended knee.

6. (All) We humbly trust, O Mary,
That God will give us grace
To love this Holy Infant
And ever seek His face;
So at the last great Advent,
When He as Judge shall stand,
We may amongst the blessed,
Be placed on His right hand.

Note from Hutchins: "The Prologue (first four lines) should be sung by a single bass or tenor voice (unaccompanied) to the first four lines of the melody. Then all commence verse 1, in chorus and in harmony. The men, when singing alone should of course sing the melody, and the women likewise. In each of these cases the accompaniment may carry the harmonies."

Editor's Note: According to the notes in the printed sheet music (see below) and with the exception of the sixth verse, the men (M) sing the first four lines of each verse; the women (W) sing the last four lines of each verse.

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Sheet Music from Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

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