Latinised Hymns

Christians, awake, salute the happy morn

Christians, awake, salute the happy morn
whereon the Saviour of the world was born;
rise to adore the mystery of love,
which hosts of angels chanted from above;
with them the joyful tidings first begun
of God Incarnate and the Virgin's Son.

Then to the watchful shepherds it was told,
who heard the angelic herald's voice: "Behold,
I bring good tidings of a Saviour's birth,
to you and all the nations on the earth:
this day hath God fulfilled his promised word,
this day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord."

He spake, and straightway the celestial choir
in hymns of joy, unknown before, conspire;
the praises of redeeming love they sang,
and heaven's whole orb with alleluias rang;
God's highest glory was their anthem still,
peace on the earth, and unto men good will.

To Bethlehem straight the enlightened shepherds ran
to see the wonder God had wrought for man,
and found, with Joseph and the blessèd Maid,
her Son, the Saviour, in a manger laid;
then to their flocks, still praising God, return,
and their glad hearts with holy rapture burn.

O may we keep and ponder in our mind
God's wondrous love in saving lost mankind;
trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss,
from his poor manger to his bitter cross;
treading his steps, assisted by his grace,
till man's first heavenly state again takes place.

Then may we hope, the angelic thrones among,
to sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song;
he that was born upon this joyful day
around us all his glory shall display;
saved by his love, incessant we shall sing
eternal praise to heaven's almighty King.

J. Byrom

Heus! Christiani, lucem hodie
natumque Salvatorem plaudite,
mirumque amorem veneramini
crebri quem cantaverunt angeli;
haec unde primum laeta vox iit:
"in carne Deum Virgo peperit."

Quod est bubulcis inde traditum;
praeconem audiverunt angelum:
"Sum Salvatoris ego nuntius
vobis et quot sunt nationibus;
hac die Deus fidem praestitit
Christumque Salvatorem genuit."

Caeli chorus, locuto sic eo,
gavisus hymno concinit novo:
amorem redimentem celebrat,
et alleluiis aether resonat;
Deique summus canitur decor,
in terra pax et erga nos favor.

Id qui miraculum visuriunt,
recta bubulci Bethlehem petunt,
videntque cum Josepho Virginem
et in praesepio Progeniem;
ardente dein laetantes animo
greges revisunt cum elogio.

Ne mente cedat amor ille, nos
qui vindicavit ante perditos,
et salutarem hanc Propaginem
a stabulo sequamur ad Crucem,
euntibus ut eius semita
detur primalis innocentia.

Spes est triumphaturos esse nos,
quos is redemit, inter angelos;
nos ille laeta natus hac die
circumnitebit toto lumine,
salvante semper quo laudabimus
eum qui regnat caeli Dominus.

MM 25.12.00–10.1.01