Christmas Comes to Bless the Earth (The Crib, the Cross, the Altar)

The author of this hymn is unknown.

It was published in the American Catholic Hymnal, 1914, labelled "Copyright 1913 PJK & S" and thus it is very likely that it is now in the public domain. 

It is set to an unnamed tune attributed to "BMJ", and the original version has four stanzas of eight lines each, which overall link the themes of Easter and Christmas.  

More recent publications only have three four-line verses from the original - the ones which make it most suitable as a Christmas hymn.  PowerPoint slides for both options are presented below.



Downloads

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Examples

Choir with electronic organ:


Piano-led instrumental with 4-part voicing:


Lyrics

Modern English

Christmas comes to bless the earth
With its wondrous heavenly birth ;
Bright and high the dawning Light
Burns through the gloom of night.

God has come with us to dwell,
In this message, hard to tell.
God the Son, the one Divine
Sent below from heaven, thine.

Glory to the Father be,
Sing the angels all to thee.
Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
All in one our praises most.

Traditional lyrics

Christmas comes to bless the earth
With its wondrous heavenly birth ;
Bright and high the dawning Light
Burneth through the gloom of night.
God hath come with men to dwell,
Christ is born in Israel ;
Thrilling songs His Angels sing,
Worshipping their Infant King.

Easter with its flaming crown
Tramples all the darkness down
Tyrant spectres of the gloom
Die before the open Tomb.
Christ has risen from the grave,
Christ has risen, strong to save;
Thrilling songs His Angels sing,
Worshipping their Victor King.

Thus he reigns beyond the sky,
In the love that cannot die.
Yet with man doth ever dwell,
In the midst of Israel.
So before his altar now
All his radiant Angels bow.
Thrilling songs they ever sing
Worshipping their hidden King.

Comes the shadow of the tomb
Comes the fearful day of doom.
Darkling clouds about us lower.
Jesus save us in that hour.
By the Christmas frost and snow,
Easter's bright and burning glow,
Light around thine altar shed,
Save us in that hour of dread.

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