316. O little town of Bethlehem

1 O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see you lie!
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by:
yet, in your dark streets shining
the everlasting light,
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in you tonight.

2 For Christ is born of Mary;
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to all on earth.

3 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.

4 O holy child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
their great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel.

Text Information
First Line: O little town of Bethlehem
Author: Phillips Brooks, 1835-93
Publication Date: 1999
Meter: 86.86 D
Scripture: ; ; ;
Topic: Christmas; Christmas Eve; Jesus Christ: Incarnation
Language: English
Tune Information
Name: FORET GREEN
Arranger: Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958
Adapter: Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958
Meter: 86.86 D
Key: F Major
Source: English traditional melody, coll. by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Copyright: Adaptation and arrangement from the "English Hymnal" by permission of Oxford University Press



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