Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, December 9, 2013

{yuletide carols} Zion's Glad Morning

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Hail the blest morn when the great Mediator,
Down from the regions of glory descends.
Shepherds go worship the Babe in the manager;
Lo! for his guard the bright angels attend.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shining,
Low lies his bed with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Saviour of all.

Say shall we yield him, in costly devotion.
Odors of Edom and offerings divine -
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gold would his favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart's adoration -
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
~ Reginald Heber, 1811

Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today. -- Greg Scheer, 1995
I know this is not your typical, most commonly sung, Christmas hymn.  In fact - I Googled it and it didn't appear that it was all that well known.  What I did find - was of different choral arrangements, etc.
Well, I grew up singing this hymn, in the old conservative Mennonite circles.   I have to tell you that in typing out the lyrics, today... I was brought humbly to tears.  Simply because, honestly, I don't know that I have ever considered the lyrics - especially  the last two verses - particularly this one...

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gold would his favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart's adoration -
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

How often do we attempt to "impress" HIM with our finery?  Our wealth and riches?  Our "best behaviour"?
When really, all he wants is our heart's adoration.
Our fellowship in prayer and worship.

Tell me, are you familiar with this Christmas Hymn?


  1. The words look vaguely familiar, but I found the tune on youtube and it didn't sound familiar. Maybe some of the words are just similar to those in other hymns. It's really beautiful~~thank you for sharing it! I love those old, old hymns. It's neat to think of people singing the same thing for centuries! Have a Blessed Christmas with your family!

  2. Bevy, No I have never heard this one, though it is beautiful... and yes, I believe that all God wants from each of us is fellowship and worship with him, and most of all love and forgiveness towards others.

  3. Bev, I have NEVER heard of this one! Is it from the life songs hymnal? Did you sing this at church?

  4. I don't really know this one. I know a hymn "Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning." Is it the same thing? I looked it up on youtube but there were tons of tunes to it. I knew only one of the tunes and that is probably the most sung one.

  5. This is the first time I've heard this song.
    I bet it's even more beautiful with music behind the words.
    (going to go to Youtube to hear it)


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