Notker Balbulus

The Hymnbook

For Twelfth Day
6th January

[N.09] "Festa Christi omnis"



Let all Christendom celebrate Christ’s feasts, which are adorned in marvellous wise and are venerable to all peoples through the Advent of the One Who keepeth all and the calling of the heathen!

When Christ was born, the magi beheld a bright star.

Now, thinking the glory of such a sign could not be in vain, they bear with them gifts for the little one, to offer to the King of Heaven Whom the star proclaimeth, and, passing by the golden bed of a swollen prince, to seek Christ’s manger.

Thereupon the raging anger of fierce Herod, jealous against the new-born Ruler, biddeth the little ones of Bethlehem be slain by the cruel sword.

O Christ, how great an army dost Thou gather, learned even when young in the mightiest warfare, for the Father, proclaiming to the peoples, while Thou suckest at the breast among such wretched ones!

God, in the thirtieth year of His Manhood, had bowed Himself under the hands of His renowned servant, consecrating for us baptism for the remission of our crime.

Behold, the Spirit, under the form of an innocent bird, descendeth to anoint Him over all saints, contained ever within the mansion of His own breast!

There sounded also the reverend voice of the Father, heedless of the old pronouncement: It repenteth Me to have created Man: ‘Truly, this is My Son, pleasing to Me, in Whom I am pleased. Today, My Son, have I begotten Thee.

Do ye, all peoples, hearken to this Preacher!’


Richard L. Hewitt
Notker's Hymnbook in Three Languages

Kamuzu Academy, Malawi
2020 - 2022