Category Archives: Hymns

Surely it is God who saves me

Surely it is God who saves me;
trusting him, I shall not fear.
For the Lord defends and shields me
and his saving help is near.
So rejoice as you draw water
from salvation’s living spring;
in the day of your deliverance
thank the Lord, his mercies sing.

Make his deeds known to the peoples;
tell out his exalted Name.
Praise the Lord, who has done great things;
all his works his might proclaim.
Zion, lift your voice in singing;
for with you has come to dwell,
in your very midst, the great
and Holy One of Israel.

–Words: Carl P Daw (b. 1944); paraphrase of The First Song of Isaiah
–Tune: THOMAS MERTON, by Ray W. Urwin (b. 1950)

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When Jesus went to Jordan’s stream

When Jesus went to Jordan’s stream
his Father’s will obeying,
and was baptized by John, there came
a voice from heaven saying,
“This is my dear beloved Son
upon whom rests my favor.”
And till God’s will is fully done
he will not bend or waver,
for he is Christ the Savior.

The Holy Spirit then was shown,
a dove on him descending;
the Triune God is thus made known
in Christ as love unending.
He taught, he healed, he raised the dead,
yet, in his great endeavor
to save us, his own blood was shed;
but death could hold him never.
He rose, and lives for ever.

He came by water and by blood
to heal our lost condition;
he cleanses, reconciles to God,
and gives the Great Commission.
Then let us not heed worldly lies
nor rest upon our merit,
but trust in Christ who will baptize
with water and the Spirit
that we may life inherit.

–Words: Martin Luther (1483-1546); para. F. Bland Tucker (1895-1984), rev.
–Tune: CHRIST UNSER HERR ZUM JORDAN KAM, melody Geystliche gesangh Buchleyn, 1524

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When Christ’s appearing was made known

When Christ’s appearing was made known,
King Herod trembled for his throne;
but he who offers heavenly birth
sought not the kingdoms of this earth.

The eastern sages saw from far
and followed on his guiding star;
by light their way to Light they trod,
and by their gifts confessed their God.

Within the Jordan’s sacred flood
the heavenly Lamb in meekness stood,
that he, to whom no sin was known,
might cleanse his people from their own.

Oh, what a miracle divine,
when water reddened into wine!
He spoke the word, and forth it flowed
in streams that nature ne’er bestowed.

All glory, Jesus, be to thee
for this thy glad epiphany:
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Words: Caelius Sedulius (5th century)

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What star is this with beams so bright?

What star is this, with beams so bright,
more beauteous than the noonday light?
It shines to herald forth the King,
and Gentiles to his crib to bring.

True spake the prophet from afar
who told the rise of Jacob’s star;
and eastern sages with amaze
upon the wondrous token gaze.

The guiding star above is bright;
within them shines a clearer light,
and leads them on with power benign
to seek the Giver of the sign.

To God the Father, heavenly Light,
to Christ, revealed in earthly night,
to God the Holy Ghost we raise
our equal and unceasing praise.

–Words: Charles Coffin, 1736; trans. John Chandler, 1837, alt.
–Tune: PUER NOBIS (15th century)

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Go tell it on the mountain

Refrain
Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain,
that Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching
over silent flocks by night
behold throughout the heavens
there shone a holy light. Refrain

The shepherds feared and trembled,
when lo! above the earth,
rang out the angels chorus
that hailed the Savior’s birth. Refrain

[Down in a lowly manger
the humble Christ was born
and God sent us salvation
that blessèd Christmas morn. Refrain]

–Words: African-American spiritual, nineteenth century
–Tune: GO TELL IT (19th century African-American spiritual)

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Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child

Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child,
bye, bye, lully lullay.
Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child,
bye, bye, lully lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
for to preserve this day,
this poor youngling for whom we sing,
bye, bye lully lullay.

Herod the king in his raging,
charged he hath this day,
his men of night, in his own sight,
all young children to slay.

Then woe is me, poor child, for thee!
And every morn and day,
for thy parting neither say nor sing
bye, bye, lully lullay.

–Traditional 16th century carol

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The angel Gabriel

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 favoured 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 favoured 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 favoured 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 favoured lady,”
Gloria!

–Words: Basque carol; para. Sabine Baring-Gould (19th century)
–Music: GABRIEL’S MESSAGE – Basque carol; harm. Edgar Pettman (20th century)

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