The great forerunner of the morn

The great forerunner of the morn,
the herald of the Word, is born;
and faithful hearts shall never fail
with thanks and praise his light to hail.

With heavenly message Gabriel came,
that John should be the herald's name,
and with prophetic utterance told
his actions great and manifold.

John, still unborn, yet gave aright
his witness to the coming light;
and Christ, the Sun of all the earth,
fulfilled that witness at his birth.

Of woman born shall never be
a greater prophet than was he,
whose mighty deeds exalt his fame
to greater than a prophet's name.

All praise to God the Father be,
all praise, eternal Son, to thee,
whom with the Spirit we adore
for ever and for evermore.

Words: The Venerable Bede (673-735);
trans. John Mason Neale, 1854

Music: The Truth From Above, Ut queant luxis, Sedulius

Meter: LM

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.