November 16, 2012

From Heaven High

I Bring You Tidings Good and New

From Heaven High is an adaptation of the German carol, Vom Himmel Hoch da Komm' ich Her. Martin Luther (1483-1546) wrote this hymn for his five year old son Hans and later had it performed at their home on Christ­mas Eve by someone dressed as an angel who then after singing the opening verses was greeted by the children who responded: "Wel­come to earth, thou no­ble guest!" JS Bach would later compose a set of variations based upon the text. The 1939 translation in the Divine Office is by Episcopalian, Winfred Douglas (1867-1944) and is set to the same tune Luther used: Geistliche Lieder (1539). In the Liturgy of the Hours, From Heaven High is used during Christmas.

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