13 Dec 2020

Hymns on Sunday, 13 December 2020

From Hymns on Sunday, 4:20 am on 13 December 2020

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Some New Zealand carols feature in this week's Hymns on Sunday, including Shirley Murray's Child of Christmas Story and the Pohutukawa Carol which was written by Father Ted Forsman while he was an army chaplain in the Libyan Desert in the 1940s.

New Zealand Pohutukawa

New Zealand Pohutukawa Photo: pxfuel.com


Artist: Philadelphia Brass
Words/Music: Anon harm Praetorius
Recording: CBS MK 7033

[Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.]


Artist: Graduate Choir, Terence Maskell (dir)
Words/Music: Brooks/Trad arr Vaughan Williams
Recording: Atoll ACD 207

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And peace to men on earth
For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel


Artist: World Library Publications Choir
Words/Music: Bill Wallace/David L Sanders
Recording: WLP

Rejoice, rejoice at Christmas time,
All flesh is sacred now.
Embrace the manger in your heart
Beyond the why and how.
For God resides within that space
Of love and cosmic awe,
The home of singing, dancing love
Beyond life's mystic door.

Rejoice, rejoice at Christmas time,
All flesh has sacredness;
All matter bears the sign of God,
Imparts God's holiness.
For God can never be confined
Beyond our time and space.
God's hand is touching everything;
Each life reflects God's face.

Rejoice, rejoice at Christmas time,
All flesh reflects God's grace.
The realm that atoms dance within
Is nature's ballet space.
When we are one with baby's breath
And tender love's caress,
We find a Christmas manger in
Our deepest mind's recess.

Rejoice, rejoice at Christmas time,
Make space for starry eyes,
Discern how Jesus looked at life
With wonder and surprise;
For deeper than our harshest pain,
Beyond our muddled mind,
The gift of love in child-like form
Is our most precious find.


Artist: Whanganui Schola Sacra, Mark Leicester (dir)
Words/Music: Forsman/Mews
Recording: Private CD 161

Lyrics not available


Artist: Graduate Choir, Terence Maskell (dir), Pene Pati (tenor solo) Philip Smith (organ)
Words/Music: Trad trans Ramsay/Trad arr Willcocks
Recording: Atoll ACD207

Whence is the goodly fragrance flowing,
Stealing our senses all away,
never the like did come a-blowing,
Shepherds, in flow'ry fields of May,
Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing,
Stealing our senses all away.

What is that light so brilliant, breaking
Here in the night across our eyes.
Never so bright, the day-star waking,
Started to climb the morning skies!
What is that light so brilliant, breaking,
Here in the night across our eyes.

Bethlehem! there in manger lying,
Find your Redeemer haste away,
Run ye with eager footsteps vieing!
Worship the Saviour born today.
Bethlehem! there in manger lying,
Find your Redeemer haste away.


Artist: Sings Harry
Words/Music: Murray/Madden
Recording: Atoll ACD207

Child of Christmas story,
stable straw and star,
small and sweet and gentle,
tell us who you are.

Child whose baby finger
round our own is curled,
come to melt our hearts,
and come to change the world.

Child of Jew and gentile,
child of white and black,
teach us how to love you,
teach us what we lack.

Child of Mary's courage,
birthed in human pain,
tell us what your name is,
be our hope again.


Artist: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge
Words/Music: Alexander/Gauntlett
Recording: Argo 414042

Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild;
Jesus Christ, her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor and meek and lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

Jesus is our childhood’s pattern;
day by day like us he grew;
he was little, weak and helpless;
tears and smiles like us he knew;
and he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that child so dear and gentle
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.


Artist: Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, Bill Ives (director), Martin Ford (organ)
Words/Music: Anon translated Roby Furley Davis/Anon
Recording: Harmonia Mundi HMU 90 7495

Of the Father's heart begotten,
ere the world from chaos rose,
he is Alpha; from that fountain
all that is and hath been flows.
He is Omega of all things
yet to come the mystic close,
evermore and evermore.

By his word was all created;
he commanded, and 'twas done:
earth and sky and boundless ocean,
universe of three in one,
all that sees the moon's soft radiance,
all that breathes beneath the sun,
evermore and evermore.

O how blest that wondrous birthday,
When the Maid the curse retrieved,
Brought to birth mankind's salvation
By the Holy Ghost conceived,
And the Babe, the world's Redeemer
In her loving arms received,
evermore and evermore.

Sing, ye heights of heav'n, his praises;
angels and archangels, sing!
Wheresoe'er ye be, ye faithful,
let your joyous anthems ring,
ev'ry tongue his name confessing,
countless voices answering,
evermore and evermore!

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