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Music for Christmas

Music for Christmas

Marian Music by Titles and Categories Under Season

Sources and Key

The following is a compilation of Marian hymns from major Protestant and Catholic hymnals.

Sources: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant. Traditional, Contemporary, Original.
Based on: Scripture, Liturgy, Patristics, Contemporary Spirituality.
Categories: chant, traditional, contemporary, ecumenical, art songs.



Adorn Your Bridal Chamber:

Adorn your bridal chamber, Zion. Ecce mundi gaudia! Come, all welcome Christ the king! In te sunt soemnia. O Virgo Maria, De plena gratia!
Welcome Mary, gate of heaven: Eccle mundi gaudia! For she bears the King of Light, In te sunt solemnia. O Virgo Maria, Dei plena gratia!
Virgin bearing high the Son, Ecce mundi gaudia! Shining before the day-star. In te sunt solemnia. O Virgo Maria, Dei plena gratia!
Holding Him within his arms, Ecce mundi gaudia! Simeon proclaimed aloud: In te sunt solemnia.O Virgo Maria, Dei plena gratia!
(Summit #284)

Behold a Mystical Rose:

Behold a Mystical Rose from thorny stem has sprung; Of David's lineage God chose to give the world his Son. All hail, O House of Gold, of whom ancient prophets foretold; Your royal praises we sing; your womb was the court of our King.
Behold the Mother of God, yet lowliest daughter of Eve; At her assenting nod God's Son in her womb was conceived. All hail, O Morning Star, Who brought blessed Light from afar, Dispel the darkness of night, Illumine our path with your Light.
Behold the Cause of our Joy, Who brought to the world God's child, The Child who was to destroy the evil that kept us beguiled. All hail, O Gate of Heav'n, Through you all graces are giv'n: Through you Salvation came; All praised and blest be your name.
(Hours #48)

Faithful People:

Faithful people, sweeten all your song with gladness, Alleluia!
Matchless maiden bring forth the prince of princes: O the marvel!
Angel of the counsel, He; Virgin-born, O mystery star the dayspring.
Day that sunset shall not close, star that light on all bestows, ever cloudless.
As a star, light crystalline, Mary hath a son Divine In her likeness.
Star that shining grows not dim, nor his mother, bearing Him, less a maiden.
Cedar tall of Lebanon Hyssop's lowliness puts on In our valley.
And the word of god Most high clothed in human form doth lie in our body.
Though Isaiah sang his reign, Many hear it all in vain; sad and blind they remain, light repelling.
If not at the Prophet's feet, kneel then where the pagans meet And the Sybil songs repeat, Bliss foretelling.
O child of misery, hark to the ancient's plea; Why be cast away eternally?
Lo, in a manger laid whom olden writ portrayed: Christ, the Son conceived and born of maid! Amen.
(Summit #283)

From East to West, from Shore to Shore:

From east to west, from shore to shore let ev'ry heart awake and The holy child whom Mary bore, The Christ, the everlasting King!
Behold! the world's Creator wears the form and fashion of a Slave; our human flesh the Godhead shares, a human race, God comes to save.
For this how wondrously Cod wrought! A maid, in lowly human place became, in ways beyond all thought, the chosen vessel of God's Grace.
When Mary heard the angel's word, accepting all the Father willed, then suddenly the promised One that pure and allowed temple filled.
He shrank not from the oxen's stall nor scorned the lowly manger bed; for he who feeds and cares for all at Mary's breast himself was fed.
To shepherds poor the Lord most high, the one great Shepherd, was revealed while angel choirs in the sky Sang praise above the silent field.
"All glory be to God above and on the earth let there be peace to all who long to taste God's love, Till time itself shall come to cease."
All glory for this blessed morn to God, the Father, ever be; all praise to you, O virgin-born, And to the Spirit, one and three.
(Hours #39)

There Is No Rose:

There is no rose of such virtue As is the rose that bare Jesu: Alleluia.
For in this rose contained was Heaven and earth in little space: Res miranda.
By that rose we may well see That He is God in Persons Three: Pari forma.
(Summit #397)

Once in Royal David's City:

Once in royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed, where a mother laid her baby In a manger for his bed. Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ, her little Child.
He came down to earth from heaven, Who is God and Lord of all, and his shelter was a stable, And his cradle was a stall. With the poor and weak and lowly lived on earth our Savior holy.
And through all his wondrous childhood He would honor and obey, love and watch the lowly maiden, in whose gentle arms he lay. Christian children all should be kind, obedient, good as he.
Not in that poor, lowly stable, with the oxen standing by, we shall see him but in heaven, set at God's right hand on high, when, like stars, his children crowned all in white shall gather 'round.
(PMB #21)



Alaru: O Sleep, Dear Holy Baby:

O sleep, dear holy Baby, with your head against my breast; meanwhile the pangs of my sorrow are soothed and put to rest. A la ru, a la me, a la ru, a la me, etc.
You need not fear King Herod, he will bring no harm to You; so rest in the arms of your mother, who sings You a la rut etc.
(Presbyterian #45)

Born in the Night, Mary's Child:

Born in the night, Mary's Child, Along way from your home; Coming in need, Mary's Child, Born in a borrowed room.
Clear shining light, Mary's Child, our face lights up our way; Light of the world, Mary's Child, dawn on our darkened day.
Truth of our life, Mary's Child, You tell us God is good; Yes, it is true, Mary's Child, Shown on your cross of wood.
Hope of the world, Mary's Child, You're coming soon to reign; King of the earth, Mary's Child, Walk in our streets again.
(Presbyterian #30)

Her Baby, Newly Breathing:

Her baby, newly breathing with wailing needful cry, by Mary kissed and cradled, is lulled in lullaby. Long months of hope and waiting, the thrill and fear of birth, are crowned with exultation, and God is on the earth.
The eyes that gaze at Mary have yet to name or trace the world of shape and color or recognize a face; yet Holiness Eternal is perfectly expressed in hands that clutch unthinking, and lips that tug the breast.
The milk of life is flowing as Mary guides and feeds her wordless Word, embodied in infant joys and needs. Enormous, formless strivings, and yearnings deep and wide, be cradled in communion, are fed and satisfied.
How mother-like the Wisdom that carried and gave birth to all things, seen and unseen, and nurtured infant earth; unstinting, unprotected, prepared for nail and thorn, constricted into maleness, and of a woman born.
(Yale #234)

Gentle Mary Laid Her Child:

Gentle Mary laid her child lowly in a manger; there He lay, the undefiled, to the world a stranger. Such a babe in such a place, can He be the savior? Ask the saved of all the race who have found His favor.
Angels sang about His birth, wise men sought and found Him; Heaven's star shone brighly forth, glory all around Him. Shepherds saw the wondrous sight, heard the angels singing; all the plains were lit that night, all the hills were ringing.
Gentle Mary laid her child lowly in a manger; He is still the undefiled, but no more a stranger. Song of God, of humble birth, beautiful the story; praise His name in all the earth, hail the King of glory!
(Presbyterian #27)

Oh, Sleep Now, Holy Baby:

Oh, Sleep now, holy baby, with your head against my breast; meanwhile the pangs of my sorrow are soothed and put to rest.
You need not fear King Herod, he will bring no harm to you; so rest in the arms of your mother who sings you a la ru.
(Episcopal #113)

Rock-a-bye, My Dear Little Boy:

Rock-a-bye, my dear little boy, dear little boy, wonder of wonders, my blessing and joy; slumber as I gently hold you let my tender love enfold you; gift of God to me and the world, here in my arms lies so peacefully curled.
Little Jesus, Infant Divine, Infant Divine, one with the Father, yet born to be mine; as I rock you calmly sleeping, angel guards their watch are keeping; precious child one day we shall see what love has destined for you and for me.
(Methodist #235)

That Boy-Child of Mary:

Ref.: That boy-child of Mary was born in a stable, a manger his cradle in Bethlehem.
What shall we call him, child of the manger? What name is given in Bethlehem?
His name is Jesus, God ever with us, God given for us in Bethlehem.
How can he save us, how can he help us, born here among us in Bethlehem?
Gift of the Father, to human mother, makes him our brother of Bethlehem.
One with the Father, he is our Savior, heaven-sent helper of Bethlehem.
Gladly we praise him, love and adore him, give ourselves to him of Bethlehem.
(Presbyterian #55)

The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy:

The virgin Mary had a baby boy, the virgin Mary had a baby boy, the virgin Mary had a baby boy, and they say that his name was Jesus. Ref.: He come from the glory; he come from the glorious kingdom. Oh, yes! believer! Oh, yes! believer! He come from the glory he come from the glorious kingdom.
The angels sang when the baby born the angels sang when the baby born; the angels sang when the baby born, and they say that his name was Jesus. Ref.
The wise men saw when the baby born, the wise men saw where the baby born, the wise men went where the baby born, and they say that his name was Jesus. Ref.
(Brethren/Mennonite #202)

What Child Is This:

What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping? Ref.: This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud the babe, the son of Mary.
Why lies he in such mean estate where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christians, fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading. Ref.
So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh, come peasant, king, to own him; the King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone him. Ref.
(Yale #232)



Mary, Did You Know?:

(solo: Christmas in Washington, 1994-PBS)
Lyrics at audio available at

There Is No Rose - Britten

There is no rose of such virtue as is the rose that bare Jesu: Alleluia.
For in this rose contained was Heaven and earth in little space: Res miranda.
By that rose we may well see that He is God in Persons Three: Paris forma.

© This material was compiled by Donald Boccardi, S.M. / St. Mary's University / San Antonio, Texas / January 1995. Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.

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