Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, Dass du Mensch geboren bist

Representative Text

1. Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ,
Daß du Mensch geboren bist
Von einer Jungfrau, das ist wahr,
Des freuet sich des Engel Schar.

2. Des ewgen Vaters einig Kind
Jetzt man in der Krippen findt,
In unser armes Fleisch und Blut
Verkleidet sich das ewig Gut.

3. Den aller Welt Kreis nie beschloß
Der liegt in Marien Schoß,
Er ist ein Kindlein worden klein,
Der alle Ding erhält allein.

4. Das ewig Licht geht da herein,
Giebt der Welt ein neuen Schein,
Es leucht wohl mitten in der Nacht
Und uns des Lichtes Kinder macht.

5. Der Sohn des Vaters, Gott von Art,
Ein Gast in der Welt hie ward,
Und führt uns aus dem Jammerthal,
Er macht uns Erben in sein Saal.

6. Er ist auf Erden kommen arm,
Daß er unser sich erbarm
Und in dem himmel machet reich
Und seinen lieben Engeln gleich.

7. Das hat er alles uns gethan,
Sein groß Lieb zu zeigen an.
Des freu sich alle Christenheit
Und dank ihm des in Ewigkeit.

Source: Kirchenbuch für Evangelisch-Lutherische Gemeinden #33

Translator: Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, Dass du Mensch geboren bist
Latin Title: Grates nunc omnes reddamus Domino Deo
Translator: Martin Luther
Language: German
Notes: Polish translation: See "Pochwalon, Jezu Chryste, bądź; English translation: See All praise to thee, eternal Lord
Copyright: Public Domain


Suggested tune: GELOBET SEIST DU
Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ. [Christmas.] This hymn has been called a translation of the following Latin sequence:—
1. "Grates nunc omnes reddamus Domino Deo, qui sua nativitate nos liberavit de diabolica potestate.
2. “Huic oportet ut canamus cum angelis semper: Gloria in excelsis."
The text of this sequence is in Daniel, ii. p. 5, apparently from a Munich manuscript of the 11th century, and is also found in a 12th century manuscript in the British Museum (Add. 11,669, f. 49). It has been ascribed to St. Gregory the Great, and to Notker Balbulus; but is probably by neither. The earliest form in which the German hymn has been found is in a manuscript of 1370, probably written in the district of Celle, and now in the Royal library at Copenhagen. In the Blatter fur Hymnologie, 1883, p. 47, it is quoted as occurring thus:—

"Hinc oportet ut canamus cum angelis septem gloria in excelsis:—

Louet sistu ihū crist,
dat du hute ghebaren bist
van eyner magnet: Dat is war.
Des vrow sik aide hemmelsche schar. Kyr."

The introductory words, it will be noted, are a corrupted form of pt. ii. of the sequence; the four lines following can hardly be said to have any connection with the sequence. This German stanza came into extensive use; and is almost the only instance of popular vernacular song used in the Church services before the Reformation. Thus in the Ordinarium inclitae ecclesiae Swerinensis, Rostock, 1519, there is a rubric in the service for Christmas, "Populus vero Canticum vulgare: Gelavet systu Jesu Christ, tribus vicibus subjunget" (Hoffmann von Fallersleben, edition 1861, p. 194). To this single pre-Reformation stanza Martin Luther added six original stanzas (which contain slight reminiscences of Fortunatus's "Quern terra, pontus, aethera"), and published the 7 stanzas (each stanza ending with Kyrieleis) on a broadsheet at Wittenberg, and then in Eyn Enchiridion, Erfurt, 1524. Thence in Wackernagel, iii. p. 9, in Schircks's edition of Luther's Geistliche Lieder, 1854, p. 9; in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen &, 1851, No. 36; and in almost all German hymn-books from the Reformation to the present time. Schamelius described it as "The blessings of the birth of Christ celebrated in paradoxes." It is translated as:—
1. Jesus! all praise it due to Thee. A good translation by C. Kinchen, omitting stanza vi., as No. 52, in theMoravian Hymn Book, 1742. When repeated in the edition 1754, pt. i., No. 213, Kinchen's translation of stanzas i., ii., iii., vii. were retained, and stanzas iv.-vi. were given in a cento partly from Jacobi (see below). The 1754 text was repeated, with alterations, in subsequent editions of the Moravian Hymn Book (1886, No. 34), and is found, as No. 209, in Lady Huntingdon's Selection, 1780. Two centos may also be noted:—
(1) "He, who the earth's foundations laid.” (stanza ii), Cotterill's Selection, 1819, No. 216. (2) "The Son of God, who fram'd the skies" (stanza ii. line 3), in the Bible Hymn Book, 1845, No. 221.
2. 0 Jesu Christ! all praise to Thee. By A. T. Russell, in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851, No. 42, omitting stanza iii., vi. Slightly altered, in Kennedy, 1863.
3. All praise to Thee, eternal Lord. A free translation in 5 stanzas of 4 lines as No. 263 in the American Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, and repeated unaltered in Schaff's Christ in Song, 1869, p. 53 (1879, p. 42). It is included in full and generally unaltered in various American collections, as the Baptist Hymn Book, 1871, Presbyterian Hymnal, 1874, Laudes Domini, 1884, &c.; and in England in Soden's Universal Hymn Book, 1885.
Translations not in common use:—
(1) "Now blessed be Thou, Christ Jesu," by Bishop Coverdale, 1539 (Remains, 1846, p. 562). (2) "Due praises to th' incarnate Love," by J. C. Jacobi, 1722, p. 6 (1732, p. 6). (3) "Oh, let Thy praise, Redeemer, God!'"
1853, p. 36. (6) “All praise to Jesus' hallowed name," by R. Massie, 1854, p. 11, repeated in Dr. Bacon, 1884, p. 80. (1) "Praised be Thou, 0 Jesus Christ," by Dr. G. Macdonald in the Sunday Magazine, 1867, p. 151, altered in his Exotics , 1876, p. 43. (8) "All glory, Jesus Christ, to Thee," in the Church of England Magazine, 1872, p. 46. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



[Hail! Jesus Christ, blessed for aye]


Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…

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The Cyber Hymnal #13505
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The Cyber Hymnal #13505

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