How Bright Appears the Morning Star

Full Text

1 How bright appears the Morning Star,
with mercy beaming from afar;
the host of heaven rejoices.
O Righteous Branch, O Jesse’s Rod,
the Son of Man and Son of God!
We too will lift our voices:
Jesus, Jesus, holy, holy, yet most lowly,
come, draw near us; great Emmanuel, come and hear us.

2 Though circled by the hosts on high,
he deigned to cast a pitying eye
upon his helpless creature.
The whole creation’s head and Lord,
by highest seraphim adored,
assumed our very nature;
Jesus, grant us, through your merit, to inherit
your salvation. Hear, O hear our supplication.

3 Rejoice, O heavens, and earth, reply;
with praise, O sinners, fill the sky
for this, his incarnation.
Incarnate God, put forth your power;
ride on, ride on, great Conqueror,
till all know your salvation.
Amen, amen! Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise be given evermore by earth and heaven.

Source: Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #101

Author: Philipp Nicolai

Nicolai, Philipp, D.D., son of Dieterich Nicolai, sometime Lutheran pastor at Herdecke, in Westphalia, and after 1552, at Mengeringhausen in Waldeck, was born at Mengeringhausen, August 10, 1556. (The father was son of Nicolaus Rafflenbol, of Rafflenbol, near Hagen, in Westphalia, and in later life had adopted the Latinised form Nicolai of his father's Christian name as his own surname.) In 1575 Nicolai entered the University of Erfurt, and in 1576 he went to Wittenberg. After completing his University course in 1579 (D.D. at Wittenberg July 4, 1594), he lived for some time at Volkliardinghausen, near Mengeringhausen, and frequently preached for his father. In August, 1583, he was appointed Lutheran preacher at Herdecke, but found many diff… Go to person page >

Translator and Adapter: William Mercer

Mercer, William, M.A., born at Barnard Castle, Durham, 1811, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1835). In 1840 he was appointed Incumbent of St. George's, Sheffield. He died at Leavy Greave, Sheffield, Aug. 21, 1873. His principal work was:—- The Church Psalter and Hymn Book, comprising The Psalter, or Psalms of David, together with the Canticles, Pointed for Chanting; Four Hundred Metrical Hymns and Six Responses to the Commandments; the whole united to appropriate Chants and Tunes, for the use of Congregations and Families, by the Rev. William Mercer, M.A. . .. Assisted by John Goss, Esq…., 1854; enlarged 1856; issued without music, 1857; quarto edition 1860; rearranged edition (Oxford edition) 1864; Appendix 1872.… Go to person page >



Adapting a tune written for Psalm 100 found in Wolff Köphel's Psalter (1538), Nicolai composed WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET, which was published with the text in 1599. Although the tune was originally more varied rhythmically, the hymnal version here is isorhythmic (all equal rhythms) and set to the rich ha…

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The Cyber Hymnal #2567
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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #357


Instances (1 - 10 of 10)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #622Page Scan
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #88Page Scan
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #496TextPage Scan
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #497TextPage Scan
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #101TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Moravian Book of Worship #278TextPage Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #357Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Small Church Music #1817Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #2567TextScoreAudio
The Summit Choirbook #11
Include 16 pre-1979 instances