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O Little Town Of Bethlehem

Today’s video brings another well-known Christmas hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The text was written by Phillip Brooks in 1868 following a trip to the town of Bethlehem three years prior. The hymn was originally written for the Sunday school children at the Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia. The tune commonly sung in the United States was written by organist Lewis H. Redner in the same year. Redner was noted for significantly increasing the Sunday school attendance from less than forty to over one thousand during his 19 years as superintendent.

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary,
and gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wond’ring love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the king,
and peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of His heav’n.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him still
the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray.
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
be born in us today!
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell.
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel.

Thank you for listening!

“​1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.”

(Luke 2:1-5)


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