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
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)