Sunday, December 23, 2007

"We three kings of orient are" by John Henry Hopkins of The General Theological Seminary

John Henry Hopkins Jr. wrote the words of this carol for a Christmas pageant at The General Theological Seminary in 1857 when he was the first instructor of music and it was published in his Carols, Hymns and Songs in 1853. Apparently over objections to the identification of the magi as "kings," "We three kings" was included in the 1940 hymnal.

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Born a King on Bethlehem's plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to rein

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Pray'r and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav'n replies

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

1 comment:

Caminante said...

Blessed Christmas!

26 December 1857 John Henry Hopkins, first bishop of the Diocese of Vermont, consecrated the church building of Saint Mary's Parish. (You can read the full story on my blog for the 26th). Our church was originally an 1843 Universalist meeting house, which the fledgling congregation (incorporated in 1851) bought and moved in the summer of 1857. Christmas Day 1857 Bishop Hopkins celebrated the Eucharist and the next day consecrated the church.

Nice synchronicity. Lee

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