The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Thou Essential Word

For Xmas Day: The Word Made Flesh

Words By Laurenti "Du Wesentliches Wort" 1700.
Trans. By Catherine Winkworth, From Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year 1855
See: The Christmas Poetry of Catherine Winkworth

And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
From the Gospel. [Jn. 1:14]

1. O Thou essential Word,
Who from eternity
Didst dwell with God, for thou wast God,
Who art ordained to be

2. The Saviour of our race;
Welcome indeed Thou art,
Blessed Redeemer, Fount of Grace,
To this my longing heart!

3. Come, self-existant Word,
And speak within my heart,
That from the soul where Thou art heard
Thy peace may ne'er depart.

4. Thou Light that lightenest all,
Abide through faith in me,
And let me never from Thee fall,
And seek no guide but Thee.

5. Why didst Thou leave Thy throne,
O Jesus, what could bring
Thee to a world where e'en Thine own
Knew not their rightful King?

6. Thy love beyond all thought
Stronger than Death or Hell,
And my deep woe, this wonder wrought,
That Thou on earth dost dwell.

7. Then help me, Lord, to give
My whole heart unto Thee,
That all my life while here I live
One song of praise may be.

8. Yes, Jesus, form anew
This stony heart of mine,
And let it e'en in death be true
To Thee, for ever Thine.

9. Let nought be left within
But cometh of Thy hand;
Root quickly out the weeds of sin,
My cunning foe withstand.

10. From Thee comes nothing ill,
'Tis he doth sow the tares;
Make plain my path before me still,
And save me from his snares.

11. Thou art the Life, O Lord!
Sole Light of Life Thou art!
Let not Thy glorious rays be poured
In vain on my dark heart.

12. Star of the East, arise!
Drive all my clouds away,
Guide me till earth's dim twilight dies
Into the perfect day!


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