Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bethlehem of Noblest Cities

We just sang this hymn at Mass this morning, translated by Father Edward Caswall of the Birmingham Oratory from the poem by Prudentius:

Bethlehem, of noblest cities
None can once with thee compare;
Thou alone the Lord from heaven
Didst for us Incarnate bear.

Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the star that told his birth;
To the lands their God announcing,
Hid beneath a form of earth.

By its lambent beauty guided,
See, the Eastern Kings appear;
See them bend, their gifts to offer,—
Gifts of incense, gold, and myrrh.

Offerings of mystick meaning!— 1
Incense doth the God disclose;
Gold a Royal child proclaimeth;
Myrrh a future tomb foreshows.

Holy Jesu! in thy brightness
To the Gentile world display’d!
With the Father, and the Spirit,
Endless praise to Thee be paid.

Happy Feast of the Epiphany, transferred! (At the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite Mass today, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family!)

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