This day the light of heavenly birth

Representative Text

1 This day the light of heavenly birth
First streamed upon the new-born earth:
O Lord, this day upon us shine,
And fill our souls with light divine.

2 This day the Saviour left the grave,
And rose, omnipotent to save:
O Jesus, may we raisèd be
From death of sin to life in Thee.

3 This day, the Holy Spirit came
With fiery tongues of cloven flame:
O Spirit, fill our hearts this day
With grace to hear, and grace to pray.

4 O day of light, and life, and grace!
From earthly toils sweet resting-place!
Thy hallowed hours, best gift of love,
We give again to God above!


Source: Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church #440

Author: William Walsham How

How, William Walsham, D.D., son of William Wybergh How, Solicitor, Shrewsbury, was born Dec. 13, 1823, at Shrewsbury, and educated at Shrewsbury School and Wadham College, Oxford (B.A. 1845). Taking Holy Orders in 1846, he became successively Curate of St. George's, Kidderminster, 1846; and of Holy Cross, Shrewsbury, 1848. In 1851 he was preferred to the Rectory of Whittington, Diocese of St. Asaph, becoming Rural Dean in 1853, and Hon. Canon of the Cathedral in 1860. In 1879 he was appointed Rector of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, and was consecrated Suffragan Bishop for East London, under the title of the Bishop of Bedford, and in 1888 Bishop of Wakefield. Bishop How is the author of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Commen… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: This day the light of heavenly birth
Author: William Walsham How


This day the Light of heavenly birth. Bishop W. W. How. [Sunday.] Contributed by Bishop How to the first edition of Morell & How's Psalms & Hymns, 1854, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and again in the enlarged edition, 1864, as "This day by Thy creating word." Of this hymn we have the following forms:— 1. The original as above. 2. The 1864 revised text as above. 3. No. 138 in Chope's Hymnal, 1864, with the first stanzas of the original, and the remaining stanzas with many alterations. This version is repeated in Taring's Collection, 1882, No. 69. It has not the author's authority. 4. "This day by Thy creative word." In addition to slight alterations this text has Bishop Ken's doxology added thereto. It was given in the Hymnary, 1878, No. 14. 5. “This day at Thy creating word." The Church Hymns text by Bp. How, 1871, No. 6, with the doxology from Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861, No. 3. This is the authorized text of the hymn. When these various forms of the text are taken together it is found that the hymn is in extensive use. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




TRURO is an anonymous tune, first published in Thomas Williams's Psalmodia Evangelica, (second vol., 1789) as a setting for Isaac Watts' "Now to the Lord a noble song." Virtually nothing is known about this eighteenth-century British editor of the two-volume Psalmodia Evangelica, a collection of thr…

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Book of Worship with Hymns and Tunes #42TextPage Scan
Church Book: for the use of Evangelical Lutheran congregations #34Page Scan
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Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church #440TextPage Scan
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Hymns for the use of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, by the Authority of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania #33Page Scan
Luther League Hymnal #65Page Scan
School and Parish Hymnal: with tunes #18Page Scan
Sunday School Hymnal #d414
The Book of Worship #41Page Scan
The Hymns for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Congregations #d485
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