Hymn Information

PLEASE NOTE: Not all verses may be sung and words may vary in the particular hymn presentation.

While Their Flocks the Shepherds Tended
Words: Between the 13th and 17th Centuries in Germany
Music: Quem Pastores Laudavere | German Melody from Hohenfurth Manuscript, 1410
1. While their flocks the shepherds tended,
Heavenly hosts to earth descended,
Singing, with all voices blended,
“Fear not, Christ is born today.”

2. Eastern seers rich gifts had wrought Him,
Gold, frankincense, myrrh they brought Him;
Guided by a star they sought Him,
Prince of Life and Victory.

3. On that Child with Mary gazing,
Join ye Christians all in raising
Songs to Him whom Heaven is praising,
God incarnate come to men.

4. From this day’s first dawn to even,
Praise to Christ our King be given
By all earth, and all in Heaven,
In our sweetest, loftiest praise.


Another translation:

1. Shepherds left their flocks a-straying,
God’s command with joy obeying,
When they heard the angel saying:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

2. Wise Men came from far, and saw him:
Knelt in homage to adore him;
Precious gifts they laid before him:
Gold and frankincense and myrrh.

3. Let us now in every nation
Sing his praise with exultation.
All the world shall find salvation
In the birth of Mary’s Son.