Scripture Verse

Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Micah 5:2


Edward Caswall (1814–1878)
National Portrait Gallery


Words: Au­re­li­us Pru­den­ti­us (348–413) (O so­la mag­na­rum ur­bi­um). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ed­ward Cas­wall, Ly­ra Ca­tho­li­ca, 1849, al­tered by the com­pil­ers of Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern.

Music: Stutt­gart in Psal­mo­dia Sac­ra, by Chris­tian F. Witt (Go­tha, Ger­ma­ny: 1715). Adapt­ed by Hen­ry J. Gaunt­lett (1805–1876) (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Pru­den­ti­us or Witt (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Henry J. Gauntlett (1805–1876)
National Portrait Gallery



Earth has ma­ny a no­ble ci­ty;
Bethlehem, thou dost all ex­cel;
Out of thee the Lord from Hea­ven
Came to rule His Is­ra­el.

Fairer than the sun at morn­ing
Was the star that told His birth,
To the world its God an­nounc­ing
Seen in flesh­ly form on earth.

Eastern sag­es at His cra­dle
Make obla­tions rich and rare;
See them give, in deep de­vo­tion,
Gold and frank­in­cense and myrrh.

Sacred gifts of mys­tic mean­ing:
Incense doth their God dis­close,
Gold the King of kings pro­claim­eth,
Myrrh His se­pul­cher fore­shows.

Jesu, whom the Gentiles wor­shipped
At Thy glad Epi­pha­ny,
Unto Thee, with God the Fa­ther
And the Spir­it, glo­ry be.