BWV 122 Das neugeborne Kindelein

The Sunday after Christmas (not present in every year).

Poet unknown.

1. Cyriakus Schneegaß, verse 1 of the hymn, 1597; 2. based freely on verse 2; 3. beginning lines based on verse 2; 4. verse 3 with interpolations; 5. based loosely on verse 4; 6. verse 4 of the hymn.

31 December 1724, Leipzig.

BG 26; NBA I/3.


1. Chorus [Verse 1] (S, A, T, B)

The newly born, the tiny child,
The darling, little Jesus-child,
Doth once again the year renew
For this the chosen Christian throng.

2. Aria (B)

O mortals, ye each day transgressing,
Ye ought the angels' gladness share.

    Your jubilation's joyful shout
    That God to you is reconciled
    Hath you the sweetest comfort published.

3. Recit. (S) with instr. chorale

The angels all who did before
Shun you, as though the cursed avoiding,
Make swell the air now in that higher choir,
That they at your salvation tell their gladness.
God, who did you from paradise
And angels' sweet communion thrust,
Lets you again, on earth now dwelling,
Through his own presence perfect blessedness recover:
So thank him now with hearty voices
For this awaited day in his new order.(1)

4. Chorale [Verse 3] (A) and Aria (S, T)

(A)
If God, appeased, is now our friend,

(S, T)
How blest are we in him believing,

(A)
How can us harm the cruel foe?

(S, T)
His rage our comfort cannot ravish;

(A)
'Spite devil and the gate of hell,

(S, T)
Their fury will them little profit,

(A)
The Jesus-child is now our shield.

(S, T)
God is with us and shall protect us.

5. Recit. (T)

This is a day himself the Lord hath made,(2)
Which hath his Son into this world now brought.
O blessed day, here now fulfilled!
O faithful waiting, which henceforth is past!
O faith here, which its goal doth see!
O love here, which doth draw God nigh!
O joyfulness, which doth through sadness press
And God our lips' glad off'ring bring.

6. Chorus [Verse 4] (S, A, T, B)

It brings the year of Jubilee,
Why do we mourn then anymore?
Quick, rise! Now is the time for song,
The Jesus-child fends off all woe.


1. "His new order" = the new covenant.

2. Cf. Ps. 118:24.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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