O Little Town Of Bethlehem – The Story And Video

Composer Phillip Brooks Writes O Little Town of Bethlehem

 

O Little Town of Bethlehem
Bethlehem – Christmas by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100307
Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Phillip Brooks (1835-1893) was a Harvard graduate and Episcopalian rector for The Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia. He held a Doctorate of Divinity from Oxford and was a teacher at Yale University.

Phillip was a published author and was the subject of a biography published by one of his peers. The Episcopal Church held him such high esteem that a statue of him standing near a cross was erected in his honor, near his pastorate.

In 1865, Brooks traveled to the Holy Lands and rode from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to assist at the midnight praise celebration at the Church of the Nativity. During his trip, he was struck with the revelation that he was only a short distance from the hillside where the shepherds heard the very first Christmas song.

Three years later during the Christmas season, Phillip wrote a song for the children’s choir of his church remembering that magical night in Bethlehem and O Little Town of Bethlehem was sung for the very first time.

Enjoy these beautiful lyrics:

O little town of Bethlehem

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 to-night.

O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.
For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.

Where children pure and happy
Pray to the blessed Child,
Where misery cries out to thee,
Son of the mother mild;
Where charity stands watching
And faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.

O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us to-day.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!

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