Behold a Virgin Bearing Him

This short, chant-style hymn for Advent and Christmas was written by American at-the-time Roman Catholic (Sulpician) priest and later historian, academic and war correspondent, Michael Valentine Gannon (1927–2017).

It was first published in 1955 by World Library Publications, and later included in the  Vertias Hymnal (Ireland,1972) and the St Michael Hymnal (America, 1998).  It became more widely known when Irish composer Ronan McDonagh published a SATB choral arrangement in 2003.

With meter 8.8.8.8, tunes it is almost always set the tune O HEILAND, REISS DIE DIMMEL AUF, which was published in the Rheinfelsisches Deutsches Catholisches Gesangbuch, 1666.



Downloads



Examples


Cantor with organ - live recording during a church service:



Choir, unaccompanied - live recording in a carol service:



Solo singer, unaccompanied:



Instrumental - organ:


Lyrics

The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available with this video. A rough outline is:
Behold a virgin bearing him
Who comes to save us from our sin;
The prophets cry: prepare his way!
Make straight his paths to Christmas Day.

Behold our hope and life and light,
The promise of the holy night;
We lift our prayer and bend our knee
To his great love and majesty.

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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
Behold a virgin bearing him
Who comes to save us from our sin;
The prophets cry: prepare his way!
Make straight his paths to Christmas Day.

Behold our Hope and Life and Light,
The promise of the holy night;
We lift our prayer and bend our knee
To his great love and majesty.

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