From Heaven above to earth I comeTranslator: Catherine Winkworth; Author: Martin Luther (1535)
Tune: VOM HIMMEL HOCH
Published in 117 hymnals
Printable scores: PDF, SibeliusAudio files: MIDI
From Heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring
Whereof I now will say and sing:
To you this night is born a child
Of Mary, chosen mother mild;
This little child, of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all your earth.
'Tis Christ our God who far on high
Hath heard your sad and bitter cry;
Himself will your Salvation be,
Himself from sin will make you free.
He brings those blessings, long ago
Prepared by God for all below;
Henceforth His kingdom open stands
To you, as to the angel bands.
These are the tokens ye shall mark,
The swaddling clothes and manger dark;
There shall ye find the young child laid,
By whom the heavens and earth were made.
Now let us all with gladsome cheer
Follow the shepherds, and draw near
To see this wondrous gift of God
Who hath His only Son bestowed.
Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
Who is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this child so young and fair?
The blessed Christ-child lieth there.
Welcome to earth, Thou noble guest,
Through whom e'en wicked men are blest!
Thou com'st to share our misery,
What can we render, Lord, to Thee!
Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How hast Thou made Thee weak and small,
That Thou must choose Thy infant bed
Where ass and ox but lately fed!
Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.
For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou King, so rich and great,
As 'twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.
Thus hath it pleased Thee to make plain
The truth to us poor fools and vain,
That this world's honour, wealth and might
Are nought and worthless in Thy sight.
Ah! dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.
My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I too must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle-song-
Glory to God in highest Heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad New Year to all the earth.
Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year, 1861
|First Line:||From Heaven above to earth I come|
|Title:||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come|
|German Title:||Von Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her|
|Author:||Martin Luther (1535)|
all st. = Luke 2:10-14
Written by Martin Luther (PHH 336) for his family's Christmas Eve devotions, this text (originally "Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her") was first published in Joseph Klug's (PHH 126) Geistliche Lieder (1535) in fifteen stanzas. Luther intended that stanzas 1-7 be sung by a man dressed as an angel and stanzas 8-15 by children.
As the basis for his first stanza, Luther revised the old folk song "Aus Fremden Landenkomm ich hier." Also called a "garland" song, "Aus Fremden" was used traditionally as a chorus in a game of riddles that involved the taking of garlands if a riddle was not solved.
The English translation is primarily the work of Catherine Winkworth (PHH 194), from her Lyra Germanica (1855). However, numerous hymnal editors have revised her translation. From the original fifteen stanzas the Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee chose to include five-the familiar narrative stanzas based on Luke 2:10-14.
Stanzas 1-4 contain the angels' words to the shepherds. Stanza 5 is the angel chorus (Luke 2:14), which we all sing as we share in the shepherds' and angels' joy. (For a similar narrative Christmas hymn on the same biblical text, see 215.)
Christmas Day worship service; Christmas festival of lessons and carols, especially with the dramatic performance style Luther intended (suggested above); church school programs.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
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|Instances (19)||First Line||Text Title||Refrain First Line||Authors||Composers||Meter||Scripture||Tune Title||Tune Key||Incipit||Languages||Publication Date|
|A New Hymnal for Colleges and School #226||From heaven above to earth I come||Vom Himmel hoch||1992|
|Celebrating Grace Hymnal #128||From heaven above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||Martin Luther; Catherine Winkworth||184.108.40.206||Luke 2:11||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||English||2010|
|Chalice Hymnal #146||From heaven above to earth I come||From Heaven Above||Martin Luther||220.127.116.11||Luke 2:10-14||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||1995|
|Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #38||"From heav'n above to earth I come"||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||Martin Luther; Catherine Winkworth||18.104.22.168||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||1993|
|Common Praise #133||From heaven above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878); Martin Luther (1483-1546)||Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)||22.214.171.124||Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-20; John 3:22-36; Hebrews 1:1-12; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-20; John 3:22-36; Hebrews 1:1-12||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||1998|
|Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #123||"From heav'n above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||M. Luther, 1483-1546 ; C. Winkworth, 1827-78||M. Luther, 1483-1546; M. Praetorius, 1571-1621||126.96.36.199||VON HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||German; English||1996|
|Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #124||"From heav'n above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||M. Luther, 1483-1546; C. Winkworth, 1827-78||M. Luther, 1483-1546; J. S. Bach, 1685-1750||188.8.131.52||VON HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||German; English||1996|
|Evangelical Lutheran Worship #268||From heav'n above to earth I come||Martin Luther, 1483-1546||Martin Luther||184.108.40.206||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||2006|
|Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #80||From heaven above to earth I come||Martin Luther, 1483-1546||Hans Leo Hassler, 1564-1612||220.127.116.11||VON HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||English||1985|
|Hymns of Faith #132||From heav'n above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||Martin Luther; Catherine Winkworth||Luke 2:10||[From heav'n above to hear I come]||C Major||1980|
|Lutheran Service Book #358||"From heav'n above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||Martin Luther, 1483-1546; Catherine Winkworth, 1827-78||18.104.22.168||Luke 2:10-20||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||English||2006|
|Presbyterian Hymnal #54||From heaven above to earth I come||From Heaven Above||Martin Luther||Hans Leo Hassler||22.214.171.124||Luke 2:10-16||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||English||1990|
|Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #339||From heaven above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||Martin Luther||126.96.36.199||Luke 2:14; Luke 2:10-14||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||English||1987|
|Rejoice in the Lord #207||From heaven high I come to earth||From Heaven High I Come to Earth||Roland H. Bainton; Martin Luther||Martin Luther||188.8.131.52||VON HIMMEL HOCH||D Major||English||1985|
|Singing the New Testament #9||From heaven above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||Martin Luther||184.108.40.206||Luke 2:8-14||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||English||2008|
|The New Century Hymnal #130||From heaven unto earth I come||From Heaven unto Earth I Come||Martin Luther; Catherine Winkworth||Hans Leo Hassler||220.127.116.11||Luke 2:1-14||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||1995|
|Together in Song: Australian Hymn Book II #296||From heaven above to earth I come||1999|
|Trinity Hymnal #220||From heaven high I come to you||From Heaven High I Come to You||Martin Luther; Catherine Winkworth||Martin Luther||18.104.22.168||Luke 2:14; Luke 2:10-12||VON HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||English||1990|
|Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #72||From heaven above to earth I come||From Heaven Above to Earth I Come||Martin Luther; Catherine Winkworth||Martin Luther; Unknown||22.214.171.124||VOM HIMMEL HOCH||C Major||English||1996|