The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we read the story of the Annunciation in the Gospel of Luke in our cycle of readings (the Revised Common Lectionary), where Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel and told that she will give birth to the Son of God. Mary’s example of giving her life to the service of the Lord is one that is revered in this hymn: “Most highly favored lady, Gloria!”

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

“For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
all generations laud and honor thee,
thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“my soul shall laud and magnify his holy Name.”
Most highly favored lady, Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
and Christian folk throughout the world will ever say–
“Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Words: Basque carol;
trans. Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924)
Music: Gabriel’s Message

–From the album A Christmas Cantata, sung by The Cardiff Polyphonic Choir.

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Filed under Hymns, My Favorites, New Testament

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