Bethlehem of noblest cities

Full Text

1 Bethlehem, a noble city,
has been blessed beyond compare,
for the gracious God of heaven
once became incarnate there.

2 Fairer than the sun at morning
was the star that told his birth,
to the world its God announcing,
seen in human form on earth.

3 From the east came men of wisdom
bringing treasures prized of old,
tributes to a greater wisdom,
gifts of incense, myrrh, and gold.

4 Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
incense shows that God has come,
gold proclaims him king of nations,
myrrh foretells his saving tomb.

5 Holy Jesus, in your brightness
to the gentile world displayed,
with the Father and the Spirit
endless praise to you be paid.

Source: Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #325

Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius

Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, "The Christian Pindar" was born in northern Spain, a magistrate whose religious convictions came late in life. His subsequent sacred poems were literary and personal, not, like those of St. Ambrose, designed for singing. Selections from them soon entered the Mozarabic rite, however, and have since remained exquisite treasures of the Western churches. His Cathemerinon liber, Peristephanon, and Psychomachia were among the most widely read books of the Middle Ages. A concordance to his works was published by the Medieval Academy of America in 1932. There is a considerable literature on his works. --The Hymnal 1940 Companion… Go to person page >

Translator: Edward Caswall

Edward Caswall was born in 1814, at Yately, in Hampshire, where his father was a clergyman. In 1832, he went to Brasenose College, Oxford, and in 1836, took a second-class in classics. His humorous work, "The Art of Pluck," was published in 1835; it is still selling at Oxford, having passed through many editions. In 1838, he was ordained Deacon, and in 1839, Priest. He became perpetural Curate of Stratford-sub-Castle in 1840. In 1841, he resigned his incumbency and visited Ireland. In 1847, he joined the Church of Rome. In 1850, he was admitted into the Congregation of the Oratory at Birmingham, where he has since remained. He has published several works in prose and poetry. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Bethlehem of noblest cities
Latin Title: O sola magnarum urbium
Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius
Translator: Edward Caswall
Meter: 8.7.8.7
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

STUTTGART

STUTTGART was included in Psalmodia Sacra (1715), one of the most significant hymnals of the early sixteenth century [sic: eighteenth century]. Christian F. Witt (b. Altenburg, Germany, e. 1660; d. Altenburg, 1716) was an editor and compiler of that collection; about 100 (of the 774) tunes in that c…

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ST. OSWALD (Dykes 53617)


Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #9631
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

Instances

Instances (1 - 5 of 5)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #325TextPage Scan
Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #122
Singing the Faith #225
The Cyber Hymnal #9631TextScoreAudio
The New English Hymnal #48TextPage Scan
Include 39 pre-1979 instances



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