Scripture Verse

Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2


Words: Pos­si­bly from a 14th Cen­tu­ry Be­ne­dic­tine pro­cess­ion­al from the mon­as­te­ry of St. Ge­org, Hrad­lisch, near Ol­mütz (now Olo­mouc, Czech­ia) (Pu­er na­tus in Beth­le­hem). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ri­chard F. Lit­tle­dale in Ly­ra Mes­sia­ni­ca, ed­it­ed by Or­by Ship­ley (Lon­don: Long­man, Green, Long­man, Ro­berts & Green, 1864), pag­es 69–70.

Music: Sha­lem Lo­well Ma­son, Car­mi­na Sac­ra (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: John H. Wil­kins & Ri­chard B. Car­ter, 1844), page 49 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Lit­tle­dale (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Lowell Mason (1792–1872)


A Child is born in Beth­le­hem
And joy­ful is Je­ru­sa­lem.
He lies with­in a low­ly stall,
The King who reign­eth over all.

The ox and ass be­held that sight,
And knew Him for the Lord of Might.
The wise men hast­en to their king,
And gold, and myrrh, and in­cense bring.

Sprung from no mor­tal fa­ther, He
Is born of pure vir­gi­ni­ty.
Unwounded by the ser­pent’s tooth,
He comes to us a man in sooth.

Like to the flesh man dwell­eth in,
But all un­like to man in sin.
That He might bring our mor­tal race
Back to the im­age of His face.

A Child is born in Beth­le­hem,
And joy­ful is Je­ru­sa­lem.
Now up­on this, His na­tal day,
Bless we our in­fant Lord al­way.

William-Adolph Bouguereau, 1893