Monday, January 7, 2008

An Epiphany Hymn

"Hostis Herodes Impie" (Impious Herod)

Herod, why do you fear?
Because the Christ has come so near?
He whom heavenly kingdoms grant,
your earthly kingdom could never want.

The sages from the east are gone
to where the star has newly shone
on by light to light they press
and by their gifts to God they confess

The Lamb of God is manifest
again in Jordan's waters, blessed
and He whom sin had never known
by washing has, our sins undone

Yet He that rules over everything
can change the waters as they spring
and gives at Cana this for a sign
the water reddens right into wine

Then glory Lord, to You, we pray
for Your epiphany today,
all glory through eternity
to Father, Son, and Spirit be
to Father, Son, and Spirit be
to Father, Son, and Spirit be

This hymn credited to Caelius Sedulius appeared around 450AD. The tune is an old Rouen church melody according to, probably from the renaissance period. The translation is an updated version from 1906.

for more about this hymn, it's writer and a midi down load of the tune go to
the painting is the " adoraqtion of the Magi" the middle panel from the interior of H. Bosch's Epiphany

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