Long Ago Prophets Knew (Ring, Ring, Ring)

This hymn is particularly suitable for late in the season of  Advent or Christmas, was written by English Methodist minister and hymn-writer Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000), and first published in 1970.

With meter with refrain, it is set to the tune PERSONENT HODIE composer unknown, included in Piae Cantiones, 1582, and arranged by English composer Gustav Holst (1874–1934).

Ringing bells with holly:


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Church choir with organ:

Massed choir with orchestra:

Choir with piano:


The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available on this website.  A rough outline is:
1 Long ago, prophets knew ...

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
When he comes,
when he comes,
who will make him welcome?

2 God in time, God in man ...

3 Mary, hail! Though afraid ...

4 Journey ends! Where afar

5 Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring! ...
We will make him welcome".

See more ...

Original lyrics

Long ago, prophets knew
Christ would come, born a Jew,
come to make all things new,
bear his people's burden,
freely love and pardon.

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
When he comes, when he comes,
who will make him welcome?

God in time, God in man,
this is God's timeless plan:
he will come, as a man,
born himself of woman,
God divinely human.

Mary, hail! Though afraid,
she believed, she obeyed.
In her womb, God is laid
till the time expected,
nurtured and protected.

Journey ends! Where afar
Bethlehem shines, like a star,
stable door stands ajar:
unborn Son of Mary,
Savior, do not tarry!

Final chorus ends with :
Jesus comes, Jesus comes, we will make Him welcome!

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