Notker Balbulus

The Hymnbook

For Christmas Day
25th December

[N.04] "Natus ante saecula"



Born before ages, the Son of God – invisible, without end, through Whom is fashioned the fabric of heaven and earth, the sea and what liveth in them, through Whom the days and hours course and renew themselves, Whom the angels in the vault of heaven ever sing with harmonious voice – had assumed here a fragile body, without stain of original sin, of the flesh of the Virgin Mary, by which He might cleanse the guilt of our first father and the concupiscence of Eve.

This day is called bright before all others, its length increased, because the true sun, born anew, hath banished the ancient shadows of the world with the radiance of its light.

Nor was the night without the illumination of a new star, which startled the knowing eyes of the magi.

Nor did the shepherds of the flocks lack this light, before whom shone the brightness of the hosts of God.

Rejoice thou, o Mother of God, about whom stand assembled, in place of attendants, angels singing glory to God!

O Christ, only Son of the Father, Who didst assume human form for our sake, kindle Thou anew Thy suppliants, and o Jesu, do Thou vouchsafe to receive our prayers, of whom Thou didst once deign to participate, so that, o God, Thou might make us worthy to participate of Thy divinity, only Son of God!


Richard L. Hewitt
Notker's Hymnbook in Three Languages

Kamuzu Academy, Malawi
2020 - 2022