The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Christmas Poems of
Catherine Winkworth

1827-1878

A Biography

Lyra Germanica
First Series
Songs for the Household
1855

Introduction To The First Series

Selected from the Chevalier Bunsen's Versuch eines allgemeinen Gesang und Gebetbuchs (1833)
Christian Karl Josias Bunsen, 1791-1860

First is given the title, followed by the first line of the hymn.

First Sunday in AdventThe Dawn (O watchman, will the night of sin)
Second Sunday in AdventThe Coming of the Day of the Lord (Awake, thou careless world, awake!)
Third Sunday in AdventChrist the Deliverer (How shall I meet Thee?)
Fourth Sunday in AdventChrist the King of All Men (Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates)
Christmas EveA Carol (From heaven above to earth I come)
Christmas DayThe Word Made Flesh (O Thou essential Word)
St. Stephen's DayA Battle Song In Troubled Times (Fear not, O little flock)
St. John the EvangelistChrist the Life of the Soul (If Thou, True Life, wilt in me live)
Innocent's DayThe Christlike Heart (Dear Soul, couldst thou become a child)
Sunday after Christmas DayThe Desire of all Nations (Thee, O Immanuel, We Praise)
CircumcisionA Hymn for New Year's Day (Eternity! Eternity!)
EpiphanyThe Manifestation of the Light of the World (All ye Gentile lands awake!)

Lyra Germanica
Second Series
The Christian Life
1858

"The hymns in this series have been chosen from various sources, most of them being such as would be found in any standard collection. The greater number, however, are taken from Bunsen's 'Versuch eines allgemeinen Gesang und Gebet buchs' ..." C.W.

Introduction To Second Series

First is given the title, followed by the first line of the hymn.

Advent
The Dayspring from on High (Ye heavens, oh haste your dews to shed)
The Deliverer (Arise, the kingdom is at hand)
The Heart Longing for the Inner Advent (Wherefore dost Thou longer tarry)
The New Year (Thank God that towards eternity)
 
Christmas
A Song of Joy at Dawn (All my heart this night rejoices)
We Love Him for He First Loved Us (Thou fairest Child Divine)
God With Us (Blessed Jesus! This Thy lowly manger is)
 
Epiphany
The King of Men (O King of Glory! David's Son!)
The Light of the World (O Christ, our true and only Light)
Forsaking All For The True Light (Is thy heart athirst to know)
Christ Our Example (Ever would I fain be reading)

The Chorale Book For England
1863

Introduction and Preface

Advent
Ah! Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee
Redeemer Of The Nations, Come
Let The Earth Now Praise the Lord
Once He Came In Blessing
A Dread Hath Come On Me
Wake, Awake, For Night Is Flying
 
Christmas
Let Us All With Gladsome Voice
Rejoice, Rejoice, Ye Christians
O Rejoice, Ye Christians, Loudly
We Christians May Rejoice To-day
 
New Year
The Old Year Now Hath Pass'd Away
Help Us, O Lord, Behold We Enter
Oh Wouldst Thou In Thy Glory Come
 
Epiphany
How Brightly Beams The Morning Star
O Jesu, King of Glory
Rise, O Salem, Rise and Shine
 
The Presentation In The Temple
Light Of The Gentile Nations
In Peace And Joy I Now Depart

Some hymns in The Chorale Book For England are found in either the First or Second Series of Lyra Germanica. They are not duplicated in this listing of The Chorale Book, and include:

Advent

Ye Heav'ns, Oh Haste Your Dews To Shed
Arise, The Kingdom Is At Hand
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
Awake, Thou Careless World, Awake

Christmas

From Heaven Above To Earth I Come
All My Heart This Night Rejoices
Thee, O Immanuel, We Praise

Epiphany

Is Thy Heart Athirst To Know

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First Sunday in Advent

The Dawn

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore castoff the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.     From the Epistle

    O watchman, will the night of sin
        Be never past?
    O watchman, doth the tarrying day being
To dawn upon thy straining sight at last?
        Will it dispel
Ere long the mists of sense wherein I dwell?

    Now all the earth is bright and glad
        With the fresh morn;
    But all my heart is cold and dark and sad:
Sun of the soul, let me behold Thy dawn!
        Come, Jesus, Lord!
Oh quickly come, according to Thy word!

    Do we not live in those blest days
        So long foretold,
    Where Thou shouldst come to bring us light and grace?
And yet I sit in darkness as of old,
        Pining to see
Thy glory; but Thou still art far from me.

    Long since Thou camest for the light
        Of all men here;
    And still in me is nought but blackest night.
Yet Am I Thine, O hasten to appear,
        Shine forth and bless
My soul with vision of thy righteousness!

    If thus in darkness ever left,
        Can I fulfil
    The works of light, while yet of light bereft?
Or how discern in love and meekness still
        To follow Thee,
And all the sinful works of darkness flee?

    The light of reason cannot give
        Life to my soul;
    Jesus alone can make me truly live,
One glance of His can make my spirit whole.
        Arise, and shine,
O Jesus, on this longing heart of mine!

    Single and clear, not weak or blind,
        The eye must be,
    To which Thy glory shall an entrance find;
For if Thy chosen ones would gaze on Thee,
        No earthly screen
Between their souls and Thee must intervene.

    Jesus, do Thou mine eyes unseal,
        And let them grow
    Quick to discern whate'er Thou dost reveal,
So shall I be deliver'd from that woe,
        Blindly to stray
Through hopeless night, while all around is day.

Richter. 1704

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Second Sunday in Advent

The Coming of the Day of the Lord

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
From the Gospel

Awake, thou careless world, awake!
    The final day shall surely come;
What Heaven hath fix'd Time cannot shake,
    It cannot sweep away thy doom.
Know, what the Lord Himself hath spoken
    Shall come at least and not delay;
    Though heaven and earth shall pass away,
His stedfast word can ne'er be broken.

Awake! He comes to judgment, wake!
    Sinners, behold His countenance
In beauty terrible, and quake
    Condemn'd beneath His piercing glance.
Lo! He to whom all power is given,
    Who sits at God's right hand on high,
    In fire and thunder draweth nigh,
To judge all nations under Heaven.

Awake, thou careless world, awake!
    Who knows how soon our God shall please
That suddenly that day should break?
    We fathom not such depths as these.
Oh guard thee well from lust and greed;
    For as the bird is in the snare,
    Or ever of its foe aware,
So comes that day with silent speed.

The Lord in love delayeth long
    The final day, and grants us space
To turn away from sin and wrong,
    And mourning seek His help and grace.
He holdeth back that best of days,
    Until the righteous shall approve
    Their faith and hope, their constant love;
So gentle us-ward are His ways!

But ye, O faithful souls, shall see
    That morning rise in love and joy;
Your Saviour comes to set you free,
    Your Judge shall all your bonds destroy:
He, the true Joshua, then shall bring
    His people with a mighty hand
    Into their promised father-land,
Where songs of victory they shall sing.

Rejoice! the fig-tree shows her green,
    The springing year is in its prime.
The little flowers afresh are seen,
    We gather strength in this great time;
The glorious summer draweth near,
    When all this body's earthly load,
    In light that morning sheds abroad,
Shall wax as sunshine pure and clear.

Arise, and let us day and night
    Pray in the Spirit ceaselessly,
That we may heed our Lord aright,
    And ever in His presence be;
Arise, and let us haste to meet
    The Bridegroom standing at the door,
    That with the angels evermore
We too may worship at His feet.

Rist.     1651.

Note: See Awake! Thou Careless World, Awake! Found in a slightly altered version in Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863: Awake, Thou Careless World, Awake! - Version 2.

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Third Sunday in Advent

Christ the Deliverer

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.     From the Lesson

How shall I meet thee? How my heart
    Receive her Lord aright?
Desire of all the earth Thou art!
    My hope, my sole delight!
Kindle the lamp, Thou Lord, alone,
    Half-dying in my breast,
And make Thy gracious pleasure known
    How I may greet Thee best.

Her budding boughs and fairest palms
    Thy Zion strews around;
And songs of praise and sweetest psalms
    From my glad heart shall sound.
My desert soul breaks forth in flowers,
    Rejoicing in Thy fame;
And puts forth all her sleeping powers,
    To honour Jesus' name.

In heavy bonds I languish'd long,
    Thou com'st to set me free;
The scorn of every mocking tongue —
    Thou com'st to honour me.
A heavenly crown wilt Thou bestow,
    And gifts of priceless worth,
That vanish not as here below
    The fading of the earth.

Nought, nought, dear Lord, had power to move
    Thee from Thy rightful place,
Save that most strange and blessed Love
    Wherewith Thou dost embrace
This weary world and all her woe,
    Her load of grief and ill
And sorrow, more than man can know; —
    Thy love is deeper still.

Oh write this promise in your heart,
    Ye sorrowful, on whom
Fall thickening cares, while joy departs
    And darker grows your gloom.
Despair not, for your help is near,
    He standeth at the door
Who best can comfort you and cher,
    He comes, nor stayeth more.

Nor vex your souls with care, nor grieve
    And labour longer thus,
As though your arm could ought achieve,
    And bring Him down to us.
He comes, He comes with ready will
    By pity moved alone,
To sooth our every grief and ill,
    For all to Him are known.

Nor ye, O sinners, shrink aside,
    Afraid to see His face,
Your darkest sins our Lord will hide
    Beneath His pitying grace.
He comes, He comes, to save from sin,
    And all its pangs assuage,
And for the sons of God to win
    Their proper heritage.

Why heed ye then the craft and noise,
    The fury of His foes?
Lo, in a breath the Lord destroys
    All who His rule oppose.
He comes, He comes, as King to reign!
    All earthly powers may band
Against Him, yet they strive in vain,
    His might may none withstand.

He comes to judge the earth, and ye
    Who mock'd Him, feel His wrath;
But they who loved and sought Him see
    His light o'er all their path.
O Sun of Righteousness! arise,
    And guide us on our way
To yon fair mansion in the skies
    Of joyous cloudless day.

Paul Gerhardt.     1653.

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Fourth Sunday in Advent

Christ the King of All Men

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice
The Lord is at hand.

From the Epistle

Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates,
Behold the King of glory waits,
The King of kings is drawing near,
The Saviour of the world is here;
Life and salvation doth He bring,
Wherefore rejoice, and gladly sing
    Praise, O my God, to Thee!
    Creator, wise is Thy decree!

The Lord is just, a helper tried,
Mercy is ever at His side,
His kingly crown is holiness,
His sceptre, pity in distress,
The end of all our woe He brings;
Wherefore the earth is glad and sings
    Praise, O my God, To Thee!
    O Saviour, great Thy deeds shall be!

Oh, blest the land, the city blest.
Where Christ the ruler is confest!
Oh, happy hearts and happy homes
To whom this King in triumph comes!
The cloudless Sun of joy He is,
Who bringeth pure delight and bliss;
    Praise, O my God, to Thee!
    Comforter, for Thy comfort free!

Fling wide the portals of your heart,
Make it a temple set apart
From earthly use for Heaven's employ,
Adorn'd with prayer, and love, and joy;
So shall your Sovereign enter in,
And new and nobler life begin.
    Praise, O my God, be Thine,
    For word, and deed, and grace divine.

Redeemer, come! I open wide
My heart to Thee, here, Lord, abide!
Let me Thy inner presence feel,
Thy grace and love in me reveal,
Thy Holy Spirit guide us on
Until our glorious goal is won!
    Eternal praise and fame
    Be offer'd Saviour, to Thy Name!

Weiszel.     1635.

Note: Also found in Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863. See: Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates.

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Christmas Eve

A Carol

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Luke ii, 10

From heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing:

To you this night is born a child
Of Mary, chosen mother mild;
This little child, of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all your earth.

'Tis Christ our God who far from high
Hath heard your sad and bitter cry;
Himself will your Salvation be,
Himself from sin will make you free.

He brings those blessings, long ago
Prepared by God for all below;
Henceforth His kingdom open stands
To you, as to the angel bands.

These are the tokens ye shall mark,
The swaddling clothes and manger dark;
There shall ye find the young child laid,
By whom the heavens and earth were made.

Now let us all with gladsome cheer
Follow the shepherds, and draw near
To see this wondrous gift of God
Who hath His only Son bestow'd.

Give heed, my heart, life up thine eyes!
Who is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this child so young and fair?
The blessed Christ-child lieth there.

Welcome to earth, Thou noble guest,
Through whom e'en wicked men are blest!
Thou com'st to share our misery,
What can we render, Lord, to Thee!

Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How hast Thou made Thee week and small,
That Thou must choose Thy infant bed
Where ass and ox but lately fed!

Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou King, so rich and great,
As 'twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.

Thus hath it pleas'd Thee to make plain
The truth to us poor fools and vain,
That this world's honour, wealth and might
Are nought and worthless in Thy sight.

Ah! dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I too must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle-song —

Glory to God in highest Heaven
Who unto man His Son hath given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad New Year to all the earth.

Luther.     "Written for his little son Hans."     1540.

Note: Also found in Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863. See: From Heaven Above To Earth I Come. For notes and other translations, see Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her.

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Christmas Day

The Word Made Flesh

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

From the Gospel

    O Thou essential Word,
    Who from eternity
Didst dwell with God, for Thou wast God,
    Who art ordain'd to be
    The Saviour of our race;
    Welcome indeed Thou art,
Blessed Redeemer, Fount of Grace,
    To this my longing heart!

    Come, self-existent Word,
    And speak within my heart,
That from the soul where Thou art heard,
    Thy peace may ne'er depart.
    Thou Light that lightenest all,
    Abide through faith in me,
And let me never from Thee fall,
    And seek no guide but Thee.

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

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

    Let nought be left within
    But cometh of Thy hand;
Root quickly out the weeds of sin,
    My cunning foe withstand.
    From Thee comes nothing ill,
    'Tis he doth sow the tares;
Make plain my path before me still,
    And save me from his snares.

    Thou art the Life, O Lord!
    Sole Light of Life Thou art1
Let not Thy glorious rays be pour'd
    In vain on my dark heart.
    Star of the East, arise!
    Drive all my clouds away,
Guide me till earth's dim twilight dies
    Into the perfect day!

Laurenti.     1700.

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St. Stephen's Day

A Battle Song In Troubled Times

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. ... Then they stirred up the people ... and caught him, and set up false witness against him.

From the Lesson

Fear not, O little flock, the foe
Who madly seeks your overthrow,
    Dread not his rage and power:
What though your courage sometimes faints,
His seeming triumph o'er God's saints
    Lasts but a little hour.

Be of good cheer; your cause belongs
To Him who can avenge your wrongs,
    Let it to Him our Lord.
Though hidden yet from all our eyes,
He sees the Gideon who shall rise
    To save us, and His word.

As true as God's own word is true,
Nor earth nor hell with all their crew
    Against us shall prevail.
A jest and by-word are they grown;
God is with us, we are His own,
    Our victory cannot fail.

Amen, Lord Jesus, grant our prayer!
Great Captain, now Thine arm make bare;
    Fight for us once again!
So shall Thy saints and martyrs raise
A mighty chorus to Thy praise,
    World without end.   Amen.

Gustavus Adolphus' Battle-song.     Altenburg.    1631.

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St. John the Evangelist

Christ the Life of the Soul

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
Follow thou Me.

From the Gospel

If Thou, True Life, wilt in me live,
    Consume whate'er is not of Thee;
One look of Thine more joy can give
    Than all the world can offer me.
O Jesus, be Thou mine for ever,
Nought from Thy love my heart can sever,
As Thou hast promised in Thy Word;
    O deep the joy whereof I drink,
    Whene'er my soul in Thee can sink,
And own her Bridegroom and her Lord!

O Heart, that glow'd with love and died,
    Kindle my soul with fire divine;
Lord, in the heart Thou'st won, abide,
    And all in it that is not Thine
O let me conquer and destroy,
Strong in Thy love, Thou Fount of Joy,
Nay be Thou Conqueror, Lord, in me;
    So shall I triumph o'er despair,
    O'er death itself Thy victory share,
Thus suffer, live, and die in Thee.

And let the fire within me move
    My heart to serve Thy members here;
Let me their need and trials prove,
    That I may know my love sincere
And like to Thine, Lord, pure and warm;
For when my soul hath won that form
Is likest to Thy holy mind,
    Then I shall love both friends and foes,
    And learn to grieve o'er others' woes,
Like Thee, my Pattern, true and kind.

The light and strength of Faith, oh grant,
    That I may bring forth holy fruit,
A living branch, a blooming plant,
    Fast clinking to my vine — my root:
Thou art my Saviour, whom I trust,
My Rock, — I build not on the dust, —
The ground of faith, eternal, sure.
    When hours of doubt o'er cloud my mind,
    Thy ready help then let me find,
Thy strength my sickening spirit cure!

And grant that Hope may never fail,
    But anchor'd safely on Thy cross,
Through Thee who art mine All, prevail
O'er every anguish, dread, and loss.
The world may build on what decays,
O Christ, my Sun of Hope, my gaze
Cares not o'er lesser lights to range;
    To Thee in love I ever cleave,
    For well I know Thou ne'er wilt leave
My soul, — Thy love can never change.

Wouldst Thou that I should tarry here,
    I live because Thou willest it;
Or Death should suddenly appear.
    I shall not fear him, Lord, one whit,
If but Thy life still in me live,
If but Thy death me strength shall give,
When earthly life draws near its end;
    To Thee I give away my will,
    In life and death remembering still
Thou wilt my good, O truest Friend.

Sinold.     1710.

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Innocent's Day

The Christlike Heart

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

Except ye be converted, and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

Matt. xviii, 3

Dear Soul, couldst thou become a child
While yet on earth, meek, undefiled,
Then God Himself were ever near,
And Paradise around thee here.

A child cares nought for gold or treasure,
Nor fame nor glory yield him pleasure;
In perfect trust, he asketh not
If rich or poor shall be his lot.

Little he recks of dignity,
Nor prince nor monarch feareth he;
Strange that a child so weak and small
Is oft the boldest of us all!

He hath not skill toutter lies,
His very soul is in his eyes;
Single his aim in all, and true,
And apt to praise what others do.

No questions dark his spirit vex,
No faithless doubts his soul perplex,
Simply from day to day he lives,
Content with what the present gives.

Scarce can he stand alone, far less
Would roam abroad in loneliness;
Fast clinging to his mother still,
She bears and leads him at her will.

He will not stay to pause and choose,
His father's guidance e'er refuse,
Thinks not of danger, fears no harm,
Wrapt in obedience' holy calm.

For strange concerns he careth nought;
What others do, although were wrought
Before his eyes the worse offence,
Stains not his tranquil innocence.

His dearest work, his best delight,
Is, lying in his mother's sight,
To gaze for ever on her face,
And nestle in her fond embrace.

O childhood's innocence! the voice
Of thy deep wisdom is my choice!
Who hath thy lore is truly wise,
And precious in our Father's eyes.

Spirit of childhood! loved of God,
By Jesu's Spirit now bestow'd;
How often have I longed for thee;
O Jesus, form Thyself in me!

And help me to become a child
While yet on earth, meek, undefiled,
That I may find God always near,
And Paradise around me here.

Gerhardt Tersteegen.     1731

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Sunday After Christmas Day

The Desire of all Nations

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

Behold, A Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

From the Gospel

Thee, O Immanuel, we praise,
The Prince of Life, and Fount of Grace,
The Morning Star, the Heavenly Flower,
The Virgin's Son, the Lord of Power.

With all Thy saints, Thee, Lord, we sing,
Praise, honour, thanks to Thee we bring,
That Thou, O long-expected guest,
Hast come at least to make us blest!

Since first the world began to be,
How many a heart hath long'd for Thee;
Long years our fathers hoped of old
Their eyes might yet Thy Light behold:

The prophets cried; "Ah, would He came
To break the fetters of our shame;
That help from Zion came to men,
Israel were glad, and prosper'd then!"

Now art Thou here; we know Thee now,
In lowly manger liest Thou;
A child, yet makest all things great,
Poor, yet is earth Thy robe of state.

From Thee alone all gladness flows,
Who yet shall bear such bitter woes;
Earth's light and comfort Thou shalt be,
Yet none shall watch to comfort Thee.

All heavens are Thine, yet Thou dost come
To sojourn in a stranger's home;
Thou hangest on Thy mother's breast
Who art the joy of spirits blest.

Now fearless I can look on Thee,
From sin and grief Thou sett'st me free;
Thou bearest wrath, Thou conquerest Death,
Fear turns to joy Thy glance beneath.

Thou art my Head, my Lord Divine,
I am Thy member, wholly Thine,
And in Thy Spirit's strength would still
Serve Thee according to Thy will.

Thus will I sing Thy praises here
With joyful spirit year by year.
And they shall sound before Thy throne,
Where time nor number more are known.

Paul Gerhardt.     1650.

See: Thee, O Immanuel, We Praise. Also found in Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863.

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Circumcision

The Circumcision of Christ

Hymn for New Year's Day

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.     Psalm xc, 12

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou, Eternity!
And yet to thee Time hastes away,
Like as the warhorse to the fray,
Or swift as couriers homeward go,
Or ship to port, or shaft from bow.
Ponder, O man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
For even as on a perfect sphere
End nor beginning can appear,
Even so, Eternity, in thee
Entrance nor exit can there be.
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
A circle infinite art thou,
Thy center an Eternal Now,
Never, we name thy outer bound,
For never end therein is found.
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
A little bird with fretting beak
Might wear to nought the loftiest peak,
Though but each thousand years it came,
Yet thou wert then, as now, the same.
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
As long as God is God, so long
Endure the pains of sin and wrong,
So long the joys of heaven remain;
Oh lasting joy, Oh lasting pain!
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
O Man, full oft thy thoughts should dwell
Upon the pains of sin and hell,
And on the flories of the pure,
That both beyond all time endure.
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
How terrible art thou in woe,
How fair where joys for ever glow!
God's goodness sheddeth gladness here,
His justice there wakes bitter fear.
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
They who lived poor and naked, rest
With God for eve rich and blest,
And love and praise the Highest Good,
In perfect bliss and gladsome mood.
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
A moment lasts all joy below,
Whereby man sinks to endless woe,
A moment lasts all earthly pain,
Whereby an endless joy we gain.
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
Who ponders oft on thee, is wise,
All fleshly lusts will he despise,
The world finds place with him no more;
The love of vain delights is o'er.
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
Who marks thee well would say to God,
Here judge, smite me with Thy rod,
Here let me all Thy justice bear,
When time of grace is past, then spare!
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Eternity! Eternity!
How long art thou Eternity!
Lo, I, Eternity, warn thee,
O Man, that oft thou think on me,
The sinner's punishment and pain,
To them who love their God, rich gain!
Ponder, O Man, Eternity!

Wόlffer.     1648.

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Epiphany

The Manifestation of the Light of the World

Source: Lyra Germanica: First Series, Songs for the Household, 1855

Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee!

From the Lesson

All ye Gentile lands awake!
    Thou, O Salem, rise and shine!
See the day-spring o'er you break,
    Heralding a morn divine,
Telling, God hath call'd to mind
Those who long in darkness pined.

Lo! the shadows flee away,
    For our Light is come at length,
Brighter than all earthly day,
    Source of being, life, and strength!
Whoso on this Light would gaze
Must forsake all evil ways.

Ah how blindly did we stray
    Ere shone forth this glorious Sun,
Seeking each his separate way,
    Leaving Heaven, unsought, unwon;
All our looks were earthward bent,
All our strength on earth was spend.

Earthly were our thoughts and low,
    In the toils of Folly caught,
Toss'd of Satan to and fro,
    Counting goodness all for nought;
By the world and flesh deceived,
heaven's true joys we disbelieved.

Then were hidden from our eyes
    All the law and grace of God;
Rich and poor, the fools and wise,
    Wanting light to find the road
Leading to the heavenly life,
Wander'd lost in care and strife.

But the glory of the Lord
    Hath arisen on us to-day,
We have seen the light outpour'd
    That must surely drive away
All things that to night belong,
All the sad earth's woe and wrong.

Thy arising, Lord, shall fill
    All my thoughts n sorrow's hour;
Thy arising, Lord, shall still
    All my dread of Death's dark power:
Through my smiles and through my tears
Still Thy light, O Lord, appears.

Let me, Lord, in peace depart
    From this evil world to Thee;
Where Thyself sole Brightness art,
    Thou hast kept a place for me:
In the shining city there
Crowns of light Thy saints shall wear.

Rist.     1655.

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Advent

The Dayspring from on High

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Ye heavens, oh haste your dews to shed
Ye clouds, rain gladness on our head,
Thou earth, behold the time of grace,
And blossom forth in righteousness!

O living Sun, with joy break forth,
And pierce the gloomy clefts of earth:
Behold, the mountains melt away
Like wax beneath Thine ardent ray!

O Life-dew of the Churches, come,
And bid this arid desert bloom!
The sorrows of Thy people see,
And take our human flesh on Thee.

Refresh the parch'd and drooping mind,
The broken limb in mercy bind,
Us sinners from our guilt release,
And fill us with Thy heavenly peace.

O wonder! night no more is night!
Comes then at last the long'd for light?
Ah yes, Thou shinest, O true Sun,
In whom are God and man made one!

J. Franck.     1653.

Note: Also found in Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863. See: Ye Heavens, Oh Haste Your Dews To Shed

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Advent

The Deliverer

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Arise, the kingdom is at hand,
    The king is drawing nigh;
Arise with joy, O faithful band,
    To meet the Lord most high!
    Ye Christians, hasten forth,
With holy ardours greet your King,
And glad Hosannas to Him sing,
    Nought else your love is worth.

Look up, ye drooping hearts, to-day!
    The King is very near,
O cast your griefs and fears away,
    For lo! your Help is here;
    And comfort rich and sweet
In many a place for us is stored,
Where in His sacraments and word
    Our Saviour we can meet.

Look up, ye souls weigh'd down with care!
    The Sovereign is not far.
Look up, faint hearts, from your despair,
    Behold the Morning Star!
    The Lord is with us now,
Who shall the sinking spirit feed
With strength and comfort at its need,
    To whom e'en Death shall bow.

Hope, O ye broken hearts, at last!
    The King comes on in might,
He loved us in the ages past
    When we sat wrapp'd in night;
    Now are our sorrows o'er,
And fear and wrath to joy give place,
Since God hath made us in His grace
    His children evermore.

O rich the gifts Thou bringest us,
    Thyself made poor and weak;
O love beyond compare that thus
    Can foes an sinner seek!
    For this to Thee alone
We raise on high a gladsome voice,
And evermore with thanks rejoice
    Before Thy glorious throne.

Rist.     1651.

Note: Also found in Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863. See: Arise The Kingdom Is At Hand

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Advent

The Heart Longing for the Inner Advent

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Wherefore dost Thou longer tarry,
    Blessed of the Lord, afar?
Would it were Thy will to enter
    To my heart, O Thou my Star,
Thou my Jesus, Fount of power,
Helper in the needful hour!
Sharpest wounds my heart is feeling,
Touch them, Saviour, with Thy healing!

For I shrink beneath the terrors
    Of the law's tremendous sway;
All my countless crimes and errors
    Stand before me night and day.
Oh the heavy, fearful load
Of the righteous wrath of God!
Oh the awful voice of thunder
Cleaving heart and soul asunder!

While the foe my soul is telling,
    "There is grace no more for thee,
Thou must make thy endless dwelling
    In the pains that torture me."
Yes, and keener still thy smart,
Conscience, in my anguished heart,
By thy venomed tooth tormented,
Long-past sins are sore repented.

Would I then, to soothe my sorrow,
    And my pain awhile forget,
From the world a comfort borrow,
    I but sink the deeper yet,
She hath comforts that but grieve,
Joys that stinging memories leave,
Helpers that my heart are breaking,
Friends that do but mock its aching.

All the world can give is cheating,
    Strengthless all, and merely nought;
Have I greatness, it is fleeting;
    Have I riches, are they aught
But a heap of glittering earth?
Pleasure? Little is it worth
When it brings no joy or laughter
That we shall not rue hereafter.

All delight, all consolation
    Lies in Thee, Lord Jesus Christ,
Feed my soul with Thy salvation,
    O thou Bread of Life unpriced.
Blessed Light, within me glow,
Ere my heart breaks in its woe;
Oh refresh me and uphold me,
Jesus, come, let me behold Thee.

Joy, my soul, for He hath heard thee,
    He will come and enter in;
Lo! He turns and draweth toward thee,
    Let thy welcome-song being;
Oh prepare thee for such guest,
Give thee wholly to thee rest,
With an open'd heart adore Him,
Pour thy griefs and fears before Him.

Thy misdeeds are thine no longer,
    He hath cast them in the sea,
And the love of God shall conquer
All the strength of sin in thee.
Christ is victor in the field,
Mightiest wrong to Him must yield,
He with blessing will exalt thee
O'er whatever would assault thee.

What would seem to hurt or shame thee
    Shall but work thy good at last;
Since that Christ hath deign'd to claim thee,
    And His truth stands ever fast;
And if thine can but endure,
There is nought so fixed and sure,
As that thou shalt hymn His praises
In the happy heavenly places.

Gerhardt.     1653.

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Advent

The New Year

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Composed on his journey to Gotha after his unjust expulsion from Erfurt; as we are told in the oration delivered at his grave, "in the full experience of the unspeakable consolations of the Holy Spirit."

Thank God that towards eternity
    Another step is won!
Oh longing turns my heart to Thee
    As Time flows slowly on,
Thou Fountain whence my life is born,
Whence those rich streams of grace are drawn
    That through my being run!

I count the hours, the days, the years,
    That stretch in tedious line,
Until, O Life, that hour appears,
    When, at Thy touch divine,
Whate'er is mortal now in me
Shall be consumed for aye in Thee,
    And deathless life be mine.

So glows Thy love within this frame,
    That, touch'd with keenst fire,
My whole soul kindles in the flame
    Of one intense desire,
To be in Thee, and Thou in me,
And e'en while yet on earth to be
Still pressing closer, nigher!

Oh that I soon might Thee behold!
    I count the moments o'er;
Ah come, ere yet my heart grows cold
    And cannot call Thee more!
Come in Thy glory, for Thy bride
Hath girt her for the holy-tide,
And waiteth at the door.

And since Thy Spirit sheds abroad
    The oil of grace in me,
And Thou art inly near me, Lord,
    And I am lost in Thee,
So shines in me the Living Light,
And steadfast burns my lamp and bright,
    To greet Thee joyously.

Come! is the voice, then, of Thy Bride,
    She loudly prays Thee come!
With faithful heart she long hath cried,
    Come quickly, Jesus, come!
Come, O my Bridegroom, Lamb of God,
Thou knowest I am Thine, dear Lord;
    Come down and take me home.

Yet be the hour that none can tell
    Left wholly to Thy choice,
Although I know Thou lov'st it well,
    That I with heart and voice
Should bid Thee come, and from this day
Care but to meet Thee on Thy way,
    And at Thy sight rejoice!

I joy that from Thy love divine
    No power can part me now,
That I may dare to call Thee mine,
    My Friend, my Lord, avow,
That I, O prince of Life, shall be
Made wholly one in heaven with Thee;
    My portion, Lord, art Thou!

And therefore do my thanks o'erflow,
    That one more year is gone,
And of this Time, so poor, so slow,
    Another step is won;
And with a heart that may not wait
Toward yonder distant golden gate
    I journey gladly on.

And when the wearied hands grow weak,
    And wearied knees give way,
To sinking faith, oh quickly speak,
    And make Thine arm my stay;
That so my heart drink in new strength,
And I speed on, nor feel the length
    Nor steepness of the way.

Then on, my soul, with fearless faith,
    Let nought thy terror move;
Nor aught that earthly pleasure faith
    E'er tempt thy steps to rove;
If slow thy course seem o'er the waste,
Mount upwards with the eagles' haste,
    On wings of tireless love.

O Jesus, all my soul hath flown
    Already up to Thee,
For Thou, in whom is love alone,
    Hast wholly conquered'd me.
Farewell, ye phantoms, day and year,
Eternity is round me here,
    Since, Lord, I live in Thee.

A. H. Francke.     1691.

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Christmas

A Song of Joy at Dawn

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

All my heart this night rejoices,
        As I hear,
        Far and near,
Sweetest angel voices;
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing,
        Till the air
        Everywhere
Now with joy is ringing.

For it dawns, — the promised morrow
        Of His birth
        Who the earth
Rescues from her sorrow.
god to wear our form descendeth,
        Of His grace
        To our race
Here His Son He lendeth:

Yea, so truly for us careth,
        That His Son
        All we've done
As our offering beareth;
As our Lamb who, dying for us,
        Bears our load,
        And to God
Doth in peace restore us.

Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
        Soft and sweet,
        Doth entreat,
"Flea from woe and danger;
Brethren come, from all doth grieve you
        You are freed,
        All you need
I will surely give you."

Come then, let us hasten yonder;
        Her let all,
        Great and small,
Kneel in awe and wonder.
Love Him who with love is yearning;
        Hail the Star
        That from far
Bright with hope is burning!

Ye who pine in weary sadness,
        Weep no more,
        For the door
Now is found of gladness.
Cling to Him for He will guide you
        Where no cross
        Pain or loss,
Can again betide you.

Hither come, ye heavy-hearted;
        Who for sin
        Deep within,
Long and sore have smarted;
For the poison'd wounds you're feeling
        Help is near,
        One is here
Mighty for their healing!

Hither come, ye poor and wretched;
        Know His will
        Is to fill
Every hand outstretched;
Here are riches without measure,
        Here forget
        All regret,
Fill your hearts with treasure.

Blessed Saviour, let me find Thee!
        Keep Thou me
        Close to Thee,
Cast me not behind Thee!
Life of life, my heart Thou stillest,
        Calm I rest
        on Thy breast,
All this void Thou fillest.

Thee, dear Lord, with heed I'll cherish,
        Live to Thee,
        And with Thee
Dying, shall not perish;
But shall dwell with Thee for ever,
        Far on high
        In the joy
That can alter never.

Paul Gerhardt.     1651.

Note: See All My Heart This Night Rejoices. Also found in a slightly shortened version in Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863.

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Christmas

We Love Him for He First Loved Us

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Thou fairest Child Divine,
    In yonder manger laid,
In whom is God Himself well pleased,
    by whom were all things made,
On me art Thou bestow'd;
    How can such wonders be!
The dearest that the Father hath
    He gives me here in Thee!

I was a foe to God,
    I fought in Satan's host,
I trifled all His grace away,
    Alas! my soul was lost.
Yet God forgets my sin,
    His heart, with pity moved,
He gives me, Heavenly Child, in Thee;
    Lo! thus our God hath loved!

Once blind with sin and self,
    Along the treacherous way,
That ends in ruin at the last,
    I hasten'd far astray;
Then God sent down His Son;
    For with a love most deep,
Most undeserved, His heart still yearn'd
    O'er me, poor wandering sheep!

God with His life of love
    To me was far and strange,
My heart clung only to the world
    Of fight and sense and change;
In Thee, Immanuel,
    Are God and man made one;
In Thee my heart hath peace with God,
    And union in the Son.

Oh ponder this, my soul,
    Our God hath loved us thus,
That even His only dearest Son
    He freely giveth us.
Thou precious gift of God,
    The pledge and bond of love,
With thankful heart I kneel to take
    This treasure from above.

I kneel beside Thy couch,
    I press Thee to my heart,
For Thee I gladly all forsake
    And from the creature part:
Thou priceless Pearl! lo, he
    By whom Thou'rt loved and known,
Will give himself and all he hath
    To win Thee for his own.

Oh come, Thou Blessed Child,
    Thou Saviour of my soul,
For ever bound to Thee, my name
    Among Thy host enrol.
O deign to take my heart,
    And let Thy heart be mine,
That all my love flow out to Thee,
    And lose itself in Thine.

Tersteegen.     1731.

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Christmas

God With Us

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

    Blessed Jesus! This
    Thy lowly manger is
The Paradise where oft my soul would feed:
    Here is the place, my Lord,
    Where lies the Eternal Word
Clothed with our flesh, made like to us indeed.

    For He whose mighty sway
    The winds and seas obey,
Submits to serve, and stoops to those who sin;
    The glorious Son of God
    Doth bear the mortal load
Of earth and dust, like us and all our kin.

    For thus, O God Supreme,
    Wilt Thou our flesh redeem,
And rise it to Thy throne o'er every height:
    Eternal Strength, here Thou
    To brotherhood dost bow
With transient things that pass like mists of night.

    Thy glory and Thy joy
    All woe and grief destroy;
Thou, Heavenly Treasure, dost all wealth restore!
    Thou deep and living Well!
    Thou great Immanuel
Dost conquer sin and death for evermore!

    Then come, whoe'er thou art
    O poor desponding heart,
Take courage now, let this thy fears dispel,
    That since His Son most dear
    Thy God hath given thee here,
It cannot be but God doth love thee well.

    How often dost thou think
    Thou thou must surely sink,
That hope and comfort are no more for thee;
    Come hither then and gaze
    Upon this Infant's face,
And here the love of God incarnate see.

    Ah now the blessed door
    Stands open evermore
To all the joys of this world and the next:
    This Babe will be our Friend,
    And quickly make an end
    Of all that faithful hearts long time hath vex'd.

    Then, earth, we care no more
    To seek thy richest store,
If but this treasure will be still our own;
    And he who holds it fast,
    Till all this life is past,
Our Lord will crown with joy before His throne.

Paul Gerhardt.

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Epiphany

The King of Men

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

O King of Glory! David's Son!
    Our Sovereign and our Friend!
In Heaven for ever stands Thy throne,
    Thy kingdom hath no end:
Oh now to all men, far and near,
    Lord, make it known, we pray,
That as in heaven all creatures here
    May know Thee and obey.

The Eastern sages gladly bring
    Their tribute-gifts to Thee;
They witness that Thou art their King,
    And humbly bow the knee;
To Thee the Morning Star doth lead,
    To Thee th' inspired Word,
We hail Thee, Saviour in our need,
    We worship Thee, the Lord.

Ah look on me with pitying grace,
    Though week and poor I be,
Within Thy kingdom grant a place
    Secure and blest to me.
Oh rescue me from all my woes,
    And shield me with Thine arm
From Sin and Death, the mighty foes
    That daily seek our harm.

And bid Thy Word, the fairest Star,
    Within us clearly shine;
Keep sin and all false doctrine far,
    Since Thou hast claim'd us Thine:
Let us Thy name aright confess,
    And with Thy Christendom,
Our King and Saviour own and bless
    Through all the world to come.

Behemb.     1616.

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Epiphany

The Light of the World

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

O Christ, our true and only Light
Illuminate Those who sit in night,
Let those afar now hear Thy voice,
And in Thy fold with us rejoice.

Fill with the radiance of Thy grace
The souls now lost in error's maze,
And all who in their secret minds
Some dark delusion hurts and blinds.

And all who else have stray'd from Thee,
O gently seek! Thy healing be
To every wounded conscience given,
And let them also share Thy heaven.

Oh make the deaf to hear Thy word,
And teach the dumb to speak, dear Lord,
Who dare not yet the faith avow,
Though secretly they hold it now.

Shine on the darken'd and the cold,
Recal the wanderers from Thy fold,
Unit those now who walk apart,
Confirm the weak and doubting heart.

So they with us may evermore
Such grace with wondering thanks adore,
And endless praise to Thee be given
By all Thy Church in earth and heaven.

J. Heerman.     1630.

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Epiphany

Forsaking All For The True Light

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Is thy heart athirst to know
    That the King of heaven and earth
Deigns to dwell with man below,
    Yea hath stoop'd to mortal birth?
Search the Word with ceaseless care
Till thou find this treasure there.

With the sages from afar
    Journey on o'er sea and land,
Till thou see the Morning Star
    O'er thy heart unchanging stand,
Then shalt thou behold His face
Full of mercy, truth and grace.

For if Christ be born within,
    Soon that likeness shall appear
Which the heart had lost through sin,
    God's own image fair and clear,
And the soul serene and bright
Mirrors back His heavenly light.

Jesus, let me seek for nought,
    But that Thou shouldst dwell in me;
Let this only fill my thought,
    How I may grow liker Thee,
Through this early care and strife,
Through the calm eternal life.

With the wise who know Thee right,
    Though the world accounts them fools,
I will praise Thee day and night,
    I will order by Thy rules
All my life, that it may be
Fill'd with praise and love of Thee.

Laurentius Laurenti.     1700.

Note: Also found in Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863. See: Is Thy Heart Athirst To Know.

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Epiphany

Christ Our Example

Source: Lyra Germanica: Second Series, The Christian Life, 1858

Ever would I fain be reading
    In the ancient holy Book,
Of my Saviour's gentle pleading,
    Truth in every word and lok.

How when children came He bless'd them,
    Suffer'd no man to reprove,
Took them in His arms, and press'd them
    To His heart with words of love.

How to all the sick and tearful
    Help was ever gladly shown;
How He sought the poor and fearful,
    Call'd them brothers and His own.

How no contrite soul e'er sought Him,
    And was bidden to depart,
How with gentle words He taught him,
    Took the death from out his heart.

Still I read the ancient story,
    And my joy is ever new,
How for us He left His glory,
    How He still is kind and true.

How the flock He gently leadeth
    Whom His Father gave Him here;
How His arms He widely spreadeth
    To His heart to draw us near.

Let me kneel, my Lord, before Thee,
    Let my heart in tears o'erflow,
Melted by Thy love adore Thee,
    Blest in Thee 'mid joy or woe!

Luise Hensel.

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Advent

Ah! Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Ah! Lord, how shall I meet Thee,
How welcome Thee aright?
All nations long to greet Thee,
My hope, my sole delight!
Brighten the lamp that burneth
But dimly in my breast,
And teach my soul, that yearneth
To honour such high guest.
Thy Zion strews before Thee
Her fairest buds and palms,
And I too will adore Thee
With sweetest songs and psalms;
My soul breaks forth in flowers
Rejoicing in Thy fame,
And summons all her powers
To honour Jesus' name.
Nought, nought, dear Lord, could move Thee
To leave Thy rightful place
Save love, for which I love Thee;
A love that could embrace
A world where sorrow dwelleth,
Which sin and suffering fill,
More than the tongue e'er telleth;—
Yet Thou couldst love it still!
O ye sad hearts that sicken
With hope deferred, and see
The gloom around you thicken,
The joys ye hoped for flee,—
Despair not, He is near you,
Yea, at the very door,
Who best can help and cheer you,
He will not linger more.
Nor sin shall make you fearful,
Ashamed to see His face,
The contrite heart and tearful
He covers with His grace;
He comes to heal the spirit
That mourneth sin-oppressed,
And raise us to inherit
With Him our proper rest.
He comes to judge the nations,
A terror to His foes,
A light of consolations
And blessed hope to those
Who love the Lord's appearing:
O glorious Sun, now come,
Send forth Thy beams of cheering
And guide us safely home!

Gerhardt, 1653

See: Ah! Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee

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Advent

Redeemer Of The Nations, Come

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Redeemer of the nations, come!
Ransom of earth, here make Thy home!
Bright Sun, oh dart Thy flame to earth,
For so shall God in Christ have birth!
Thou comest from Thy kingly throne,
O Son of God, the Virgin's Son!
Thou Hero of a twofold race,
Dost walk in might earth's darkest place.
Thou stoopest once to suffer here,
And risest o'er the starry sphere;
Hell's gates at thy descent were riven,
Thy ascent is to highest Heaven.
One with the Father! Prince of might!
O'er nature's realm assert Thy right,
Our sickly bodies pine to know
Thy heavenly strength, Thy living glow,
How bright Thy lowly manger beams!
Down earth's dark vale its glory streams,
The splendour of Thy natal night
Shines through all time in deathless light.

J. Franck

See: Redeemer of the Nations Come - Winkworth

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Advent

Let The Earth Now Praise The Lord

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Let the earth now praise the Lord,
Who hath truly kept His word,
And the sinner's help and Friend
Now at last to us doth send.
What the fathers most desired,
What the prophets' heart inspired,
What they long'd for many a year,
Stands fulfill'd in glory here.
Abram's promised great reward,
Zion's Helper, Jacob's Lord;
Him of twofold race behold,
Truly come, as long foretold.
Welcome, O my Saviour, now!
Hail! my portion, Lord, art Thou!
Here too in my heart, I pray,
Oh prepare Thyself a way.
Enter, King of Glory, in!
Purify the wastes of sin
As Thou hast so often done;
It belongs to Thee alone.
As Thy coming was in peace,
Noiseless, full of gentleness,
Let the same mind dwell in me
That was ever found in Thee.
Bruise for me the serpent's head,
That, set free from doubt and dread,
I may cleave to Thee in faith,
Safely kept through life and death!
And when Thou dost come again
As a glorious King to reign,
I with joy may see Thy face,
Freely ransom'd by Thy grace.

H. Held, 1643

See: Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord

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Advent

Once He Came In Blessing

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Once he came in blessing,
All our ills redressing,
Came in likeness lowly,
Son of God most holy,
Bore the cross to save us,
Hope and freedom gave us.
Still He comes within us,
Still His voice would win us
From the sins that hurt us;
Would to Truth convert us
From our foolish errors,
Ere He comes in terrors.
Thus if thou hast known Him,
Not ashamed to own Him,
Nor dost love Him coldly,
But wilt trust Him boldly,
He will now receive thee,
Heal thee, and forgive thee.
But through many a trial,
Deepest self-denial,
Long and brave endurance,
Must thou win assurance
That His own He makes thee,
And no more forsakes thee.
He who thus endureth
Bright reward secureth;
Come then, O Lord Jesus,
From our sins release us.
Let us here confess Thee,
Till in heaven we bless Thee.

M. Weiss, 1531

See: Once He Came in Blessing

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Advent

A Dread Hath Come On Me

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

A dread hath come on me,
I know not where to flee,
My pow'rs can nought avail me;
My trembling limbs grow weak,
My lips refuse to speak,
My heart and senses fail me:
For thinking on that sound
That once shall pierce the ground
And make its slumb'rers tremble,—
"Arise! the Day of Doom
Is come at last,—is come!
Before the judge assemble!
Ah God! no tempest's shock
That cleaves the solid rock
Could make my spirit shiver
As doth that awful tone;
Were my heart steel or stone
'T would hear that voice and quiver.
I eat, or wake, or sleep,
I talk, or smile, or weep,
Yet still that voice of thunder
Is sounding through my heart,—
"Forget not what thou art,
The doom thou liest under!
For daily do I see
How many deaths there be,
How swiftly all things wither;
How sickness fills the grave,
Or fire, or sword, or wave
Is sweeping thousands thither.
My turn will soon be here,
The end is drawing near,
I hear its warning plainly;
Death knocketh at my door
And tells me all is o'er,
And I would fly him vainly.
Ah! who in this my strait
Will be mine Advocate?
Will all things leave me friendless?
My wealth and power are dust,
This Judge is ever just,
His righteous doom is endless.
Lord Jesus Christ! 't is Thou
Alone canst help me now,
But 't was for this Thou camest,
To save us in this hour;—
Then show Thy mercy's power,
For they are safe Thou claimest.
Speak Thou for me! Thou art
The refuge of my heart;
With gladness let me hear Thee;
Bid me to Thee ascend,
Where praise shall never end,
And love shall aye be near Thee.

S. Dach, 1640

See: A Dread Hath Come On Me

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Advent

Wake, Awake, For Night Is Flying

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Wake, awake, for night is flying,
The watchmen on the heights are crying;
Awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Midnight hears the welcome voices,
And at the thrilling cry rejoices:
Come forth, ye virgins, night is past!
The Bridegroom comes, awake,
Your lamps with gladness take;
Hallelujah!
And for His marriage-feast prepare,
For ye must go to meet Him there.
Zion hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing,
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Lord comes down all-glorious,
The strong in grace, in truth victorious,
Her Star is risen, her Light is come!
Ah come, Thou blessed Lord,
O Jesus, Son of God,
Hallelujah!
We follow till the halls we see
Where Thou hast bid us sup with Thee!
Now let all the heavens adore Thee,
And men and angels sing before Thee,
With harp and cymbal's clearest tone;
Of one pearl each shining portal,
Where we are with the choir immortal
Of angels round Thy dazzling throne;
Nor eye hath seen, nor ear
Hath yet attain'd to hear
What there is ours,
But we rejoice, and sing to Thee
Our hymn of joy eternally.

Nicolai, 1598

Note: Winkworth does not include this in her "Advent" section, but under the heading of "The Life To Come." See: Wake, Awake, For Night Is Flying

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Christmas

Let Us All With Gladsome Voice

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Let us all with gladsome voice
Praise the God of heaven,
Let us all with gladsome voice
Praise the God of heaven,
Who to bid our hearts rejoice
His own Son hath given.
Down to this sad earth He comes,
Here to serve us deigning,
Down to this sad earth He comes,
Here to serve us deigning,
That with Him in yon fair homes
We may once be reigning.
We are rich, for He was poor,
Gaze upon this wonder!
We are rich, for He was poor,
Gaze upon this wonder!
Let us praise God evermore,
Here on earth, and yonder!
Look on all who sorrow here,
Lord, in pity bending,
Look on all who sorrow here,
Lord, in pity bending,
Grant us now a glad New Year,
And a blessed ending!

Anon., appears 1682

See: Let Us All With Gladsome Voice

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Christmas

Rejoice, Rejoice, Ye Christians

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Rejoice, rejoice, ye Christians,
With all your hearts this morn!
O hear the blessed tidings,
"The Lord, the Christ, is born,"
Now brought us by the angels
That stand about God's throne;
Oh lovely are the voices
That make such tidings known.
That make such tidings known.
Oh hearken to their singing,
"This Child shall be your Friend,
The Father so hath will'd it,
That thus your woes should end;
The Son is freely given,
That in Him ye may have
The Father's grace and blessing,
And know He loves to save.
And know He loves to save.
Nor deem the form too lowly
That clothes Him at this hour;
For know ye what it hideth?
'Tis God's almighty power.
Though now within the manger
So poor and weak He lies,
He is the Lord of all things,
He reigns above the skies.
He reigns above the skies.
Sin, Death, and Hell, and Satan
Have lost the victory;
This Child shall overthrow them,
As ye shall surely see;
Their wrath shall nought avail them,
Fear not, their reign is o'er;
This Child shall overthrow them,—
Oh hear and doubt no more.
Oh hear and doubt no more."

Anon., early

See: Rejoice, Rejoice, Ye Christians

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Christmas

O Rejoice, Ye Christians, Loudly

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Oh rejoice, ye Christians, loudly,
For your joy is now begun;
Wondrous things our God hath done;
Tell abroad His goodness proudly,
Who our race hath honour'd thus
That he deigns to dwell with us:
Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness!
Christ hath done away with sadness!
Hence, all sorrow and repining,
For the Son of grace is shining.
See, my soul, thy Saviour chooses
Weakness here and poverty,
In such love He comes to thee,
Nor the hardest couch refuses;
All He suffers for thy good,
To redeem thee by His blood:
Joy, then, joy beyond all gladness!
Christ hath done away with sadness!
Hence, all sorrow and repining,
For the Sun of grace is shining.
Lord, how shall I thank Thee rightly?
I acknowledge that from Thee
Every blessing flows to me.
Let me not forget it lightly,
But to Thee through all things cleave;
So shall heart and mind receive
Joy, yea, joy beyond all gladness!
Christ hath done away with sadness!
Hence, all sorrow, all repining,
For the Sun of grace is shining!
Jesu, guard and guide Thy members,
Fill Thy brethren with Thy grace,
Hear their prayers in every place,
Quicken now life's faintest embers;
Grant all Christians, far and near,
Holy peace, a glad New Year!
Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness!
Christ hath done away with sadness!
Hence, all sorrow, all repining,
For the Sun of grace is shining!

Keimann, 1656

See: Oh Rejoice, Ye Christians, Loudly

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Christmas

We Christians May Rejoice To-day

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

    We Christians may rejoice to-day,
When Christ was born to comfort and to save us;
    Who thus believes no longer grieves,
For none are lost who grasp the hope He gave us.
    O wondrous joy, that God most high
Should take our flesh, and thus our race should honour;
    A virgin mild hath borne this Child,
Such grace and glory God hath put upon her.
    Sin brought us grief, but Christ relief,
When down to earth He came for our salvation;
    Since God with us is dwelling thus,
Who dares to speak the Christian's condemnation?
    Then hither throng, with happy song
To Him whose birth and death are our assurance;
    Through whom are we at last set free
From sins and burdens that surpassed endurance.
    Yes, let us praise our God and raise
Loud hallelujahs to the skies above us
    The bliss bestowed to-day by God,
To ceaseless thankfulness and joy should move us.

? Gaspar Fugger, +1617

Note: The question mark was Winkworth's.

See:

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New Year

The Old Year Now Hath Pass'd Away

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

The old year now hath pass'd away,
We thank Thee, O our God, to-day,
That Thou hast kept us through the year,
When danger and distress were near.
We pray Thee, O Eternal Son,
Who with the Father reign'st as One,
To guard and rule Thy Christendom
Through all the ages yet to come.
Take not Thy saving Word away,
Our souls' true comfort and their stay;
Abide with us, and keep us free
From errors, following only Thee.
Oh help us to forsake all sin,
A new and holier course begin,
Mark not what once was done amiss,
A happier, better year be this:
Wherein as Christians we may live,
Or die in peace that Thou canst give,
To rise again when Thou shalt come,
And enter Thine eternal home.
There shall we thank Thee, and adore,
With all the angels evermore;
Lord Jesus Christ, increase our faith
To praise Thy name through life and death!

Tapp, 1603

See: The Old Year Now Hath Passed Away

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New Year

Help Us, O Lord, Behold We Enter

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Help us, O Lord, behold we enter
Upon another year to-day;
In Thee our hopes and thoughts now centre,
Renew our courage for the way:
New life, new strength, new happiness,
We ask of Thee,—oh hear and bless!
May every plan and undertaking
This year be all begun with Thee,
When I am sleeping or am waking,
Still let me know Thou art with me;
Abroad do Thou my footsteps guide,
At home be ever at my side.
Be this a time of grace and pardon,
Thy rod I take with willing mind,
But suffer nought my heart to harden,
Oh let me now Thy mercy find;
In Thee alone, my God, I live,
Thou only canst my sins forgive.
And may this year to me be holy,
Thy grace so fill my ev'ry thought
That all my life be pure and lowly
And truthful, as a Christian's ought;
So make me while yet dwelling here
Pious and blest from year to year.
Jesus, be with me and direct me;
Jesus, my plans and hopes inspire;
Jesus, from tempting thoughts protect me;
Jesus, be all my heart's desire;
Jesus, be in my thoughts all day,
Nor suffer me to fall away!
And grant, Lord, when the year is over,
That it for me in peace may close;
In all things care for me, and cover
My head in time of fear and woes;
So may I, when my years are gone,
Appear with joy before Thy throne.

Rist, 1644

See: Help Us O Lord Behold We Enter

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New Year

Oh Wouldst Thou In Thy Glory Come

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Oh wouldst Thou in Thy glory come,
As Thou, Lord, hast foretold it!
I count the moment's weary sum
Until we may behold it;
With burning lamp, the Church, Thy Bride,
Is waiting for the holy tide
When Thou, Lord, wilt unfold it.
Yet I would leave it to thy choice,
The hour when we shall meet Thee!
Though Thou dost love that heart and voice
Should daily thus entreat Thee,
And henceforth all my course should be
Still looking on and up to Thee,
With heart prepared to greet Thee.
I joy that from Thy love divine
No power my soul can sever;
That I may dare to call Thee mine,
My Lord, my Friend, for ever!
That I, O Prince of Life, shall be
Made wholly one in heaven with Thee,
In life that endeth never.
And therefore do my thinks o'erflow
That one more year is ended,
And of this Time, so poor, so slow,
Another step ascended;
And with a heart that may not wait
I hasten towards the golden gate
Where long my hopes have tended.
And when the wearied hands give way,
And wearied knees are failing,
Then make Thy mighty arm my stay,
Though faith and hope seem quailing;
That so my heart drink in new strength,
And fear no more the journey's length,
O'er doubt and pain prevailing.
Then on, my soul, with fearless faith,
Let nought to terror move thee,
Nor list what earthly pleasure saith,
When she would lure and prove thee;
The eagles' wings of love and prayer
Will bear thee through life's toil and care
To Him who still doth love thee.

A. H. Francke, 1691

See: Oh Wouldst Thou In Thy Glory Come

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Epiphany

How Brightly Beams The Morning Star

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

How brightly beams the Morning Star!
What sudden radiance from afar
Doth glad us with its shining,
Brightness of God that breaks our night
And fills the darken'd souls with light
Who long for truth were pining!
Thy Word, Jesu, Only feeds us,
Rightly leads us,
Life bestowing;
Praise, oh praise such love o'erflowing.
Thou here my Comfort, there my Crown,
Thou King of Heaven, who camest down
To dwell as man beside me;
My heart doth praise Thee o'er and o'er,
If Thou art mine I ask no more,
Be wealth or fame denied me;
Thee I seek now; None who proves Thee,
None who loves Thee
Finds Thee fail him;
Lord of life, Thy powers avail him!
Through Thee alone can I be blest,
Then deep be on my heart imprest
The love that Thou hast borne me;
So make it ready to fulfil
With burning zeal Thy holy will,
Though men may vex or scorn me;
Saviour, let me Never lose Thee,
For I choose Thee,
Thirst to know Thee;
All I am and have I owe Thee!
O God, our Father far above,
Thee too I Praise, for all the love
Thou in Thy Son dost give me!
In Him am I made one with Thee,
My Brother and my Friend is He;
Shall aught affright or grieve me?
He is Greatest, Best, and Highest,
Ever nighest
To the weakest;
Fear no foes, if Him thou seekest!
O praise to Him who come to save,
Who conquer'd death and burst the grave;
Each day new praise resoundeth
To Him the Lamb who once was slain,
The Friend whom none shall trust in vain,
Whose grace for aye aboundeth;
Sing, ye Heavens, Tell the story
Of His glory,
Till His praises
Flood with light Earth's darkest places.

J. A. Schlegel, 1765

See: How Brightly Beams the Morning Star

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Epiphany

O Jesu, King of Glory

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

O Jesu, King of Glory!
Our Sov'reign and our Friend!
Thy throne is fix'd in Heaven,
Thy kingdom hath no end:
Oh now to all men, far and near,
Lord, make it known, we pray,
That as in Heaven all creatures here
May know Thee and obey.
The Eastern sages bringing
Their tribute-gifts to Thee,
Bear witness to Thy Kingdom,
And humbly how the knee;
To Thee the Morning Star doth lead,
To Thee th' inspired Word,
We hail Thee, Saviour in our need,
We worship Thee, the Lord.
Ah, look on me with pity,
Though I am weak and poor,
Admit me to Thy kingdom
To dwell there blest and sure.
Oh rescue me from all my woes,
And shield me with Thine arm
From Sin and Death, the mighty foes
That daily seek our harm.
And bid Thy Word within us
Shine as the fairest Star;
Keep sin and all false doctrine
From all Thy people far:
Let us Thy name aright confess,
And with Thy Christendom,
Our King and Saviour own and bless
Through all the world to come.

M. Behm, 1606

See: O Jesu, King of Glory

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Epiphany

Rise, O Salem, Rise And Shine

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Rise, O Salem, rise and shine!
Lo! the Gentiles hail thy waking;
Herald of a morn divine,
See the dayspring o'er us breaking,
Telling God has call'd to mind
Those who long in darkness pined.
Ah, how blindly did we stray,
Ere this sun our earth had brightened,
Heaven we sought not, for no ray
Had our 'wilder'd eyes enlighten'd!
All our looks were earthward bent,
All our strength on earth was spent.
But, the day-spring from on high
Hath arisen with beams unclouded,
And we all before it fly
All the heavy gloom that shrouded
This sad earth, where sin and woe
Seem'd to reign o'er all below.
Thy appearing, Lord, shall fill
All my thoughts in sorrow's hour;
Thy appearing, Lord, shall still
All my dread of death's dark power;
Whether joy or tears be mine,
Through them still Thy light shall shine.
Let me, when my course is run,
Calmly leave a world of sadness
For the place that needs no sun,
For Thou art its light and gladness,
For the mansions fair and bright,
Where Thy saints are crown'd with light.

Rist, 1655

See: Rise, O Salem, Rise And Shine

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The Presentation In The Temple

Light Of The Gentile Nations

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

Light of the Gentile nations,
    Thy people's joy and love,
Dawn by Thy Spirit hither,
    We gladly come to prove
Thy presence in Thy temple,
    And wait with earnest mind,
As Simeon once had waited
    His Saviour God to find.

Yes, Lord, Thy servants meet Thee,
    Ev'n now, in ev'ry place,
Where Thy true word hath promised
    That they should see Thy face.
Thou yet wilt gently grant us,
    Who gather round Thee here,
In faith's strong arms to bear Thee,
    As once that aged seer.

Be Thou our joy, our brightness,
    That shines 'mid pain and loss,
Our Sun in times of terror,
    The glory round our cross;
A glow in sinking spirits,
    A sunbeam in distress,
Physician, friend in sickness;
    In death our happiness.

Let us, O Lord, be faithful
    With Simeon to the end,
That so his dying song may
    From all our hearts ascend;
"O Lord, now let Thy servant
    Depart in peace for aye,
Since I have seen my Saviour,
    Have here beheld His day."

My Saviour, I behold Thee
    Now with the eye of faith;
No foe of Thee can rob me,
    Though bitter words he saith;
Within Thy heart abiding,
    As Thou dost dwell in me,
No pain, no death has terrors
    To part my soul from Thee!

J. Franck, 1653

See Light Of The Gentile Nations

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The Presentation In The Temple

In Peace And Joy I Now Depart

Source: Catherine Winkworth, The Chorale Book For England, 1863

In peace and joy I now depart,
According to God's will,
For full of comfort is my heart,
So calm and sweet and still;
So doth God His promise keep,
And death for me is but a sleep.

'T is Christ hath wrought this work for me,
Thy dear and only son,
Whom Thou hast suffer'd me to see,
And made Him surely known
As my Help when trouble's rife,
And even in death itself my Life.

For Thou In mercy unto all
Hast set this Saviour forth;
And to His kingdom Thou dost call
The nations of the earth
Through His blessed wholesome Word,
That now in every place is heard.

He is the heathens' saving Light,
And He will gently lead
Those who now know Thee not aright,
And in His pastures feed;
While His people's joy He is,
Their Sun, their glory, and their bliss.

Luther, 1525

See In Peace And Joy I Now Depart

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The Christmas Poems of Catherine Winkworth

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