Gracie’s hymns for this fourth Sunday of Advent are While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, Away in a Manger, and O Little Town of Bethlehem.
LYRICS: (via hymnary.org)
WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED THEIR FLOCKS, by Nahum Tate
1 While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
an angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.
2 “Fear not,” said he for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind
“glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all mankind.
3 “To you, in David’s town, this day
is born of David’s line
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:
4 “The heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all simply wrapped in swaddling clothes
and in a manger laid.”
5 Thus spoke the angel. Suddenly
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God, who thus
addressed their joyful song:
6 “All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
to those on whom his favor rests
goodwill shall never cease.”
AWAY IN A MANGER, by Martin Luther
1 Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
2 The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love you, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky,
and stay by my side until morning is nigh.
3 Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask you to stay
close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in your tender care,
and take us to heaven to live with you there.
O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, by Phillips Brooks
1 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.
2 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 all the earth.
3 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.
4 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 Immanuel!