A Great and Mighty Wonder

Representative Text

1 A great and mighty wonder,
a full and holy cure!
the Virgin bears the Infant
with virgin-honour pure:

Refrain:
Repeat the hymn again:
'To God on high be glory,
and peace on earth to men.'

2 The Word becomes incarnate,
and yet remains on high;
and cherubim sing anthems
to shepherds from the sky: [Refrain]

3 While thus they sing your Monarch,
those bright angelic bands,
rejoice, ye vales and mountains,
ye oceans, clap your hands: [Refrain]

4 Since all he comes to ransom,
by all be he adored,
the Infant born in Bethl'em,
the Saviour and the Lord: [Refrain]

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #58

Author: St. Germanus I

Germanus, St. [634-734.] One of the Greek hymnwriters, and one of the grandest among the defenders of the Icons. He was born at Constantinople of a patrician family; was ordained there; and became subsequently bishop of Cyzicus. He was present at the Synod of Constantinople in 712, which restored the Monothelite heresy; but in after years he condemned it. He was made patriarch of Constantinople in 715. In 730 he was driven from the see, not without blows, for refusing to yield to the Iconoclastic Emperor Leo the Isaurian. He died shortly afterwards, at the age of one hundred years. His hymns are few. Dr. Neale selects his canon on The Wonder-working Image of Edessa as his most poetical piece (see Neale's Hymns of the Eastern Church, 1862, a… Go to person page >

Translator: J. M. Neale

John M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome; in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive; of scholarly tem­perament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area; often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: A great and mighty wonder
Title: A Great and Mighty Wonder
Greek Title: Μέγα καί παράδοξον Θαΰμα
Author: St. Germanus I
Translator: J. M. Neale
Meter: 7.6.7.6.6.7.6
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

ES IST EIN ROS (5556553)

First published with the text in the Cologne Gesangbuch of 1599 (see above), ES IST EIN ROS is a rounded bar form tune (AABA). The tune has characteristics of a Renaissance madrigal; it invites performance by an unaccompanied choir so that all the fine part writing and subtle rhythms can be clearly…

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ST. HILDA (Knecht)

The original form of ST. EDITH (also known as ST. HILDA) was composed in 1793 by Justin Heinrich Knecht for the text “Der neidern Menschhiet Hülle.” It was published in Vollstandige Sammlung … Choralmelodien (1799), edited by Johann Friedrich Christmann and Knecht, who composed ninety-seven o…

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