BWV 248V Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen (Weihnachts-Oratorium V)

Sunday after New Year's Day.

Poet unknown (Picander?); PT (Leipzig, 1734); Facs: Neumann T, p. 453.

2 (44). Mt. 2:1; 3 (45). Mt. 2:2; 4 (46). Georg Weissel, verse 5 of "Nun, liebe Seel, nun ist es Zeit," 1642 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #15); 6 (48). Mt. 2:3; 8 (50). Mt. 2:4-6; 11 (53). Johann Franck, verse 9 of "Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohlen Lüfte," 1655 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #109).

2 January 1735, Leipzig; Parody: 3 (45) <--- St. Mark Passion, BWV 247/114; 4 (47) <--- BWV 215/7.

BG 5, 2; NBA II/6.


Christmas Oratorio V

1 (43). Chorus (S, A, T, B)

Glory to thee, God, be sung now,
Thee be praise and thanks prepared,

    Thee exalteth all the world,
    For our good is thy desire,
    For today
    Is our ev'ry wish accomplished,
    For us thy favor brings such splendid joy.

2 (44). Recit. (T) Evangelist

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the land of Judea in the days when Herod was the king, behold, there came the wise from the East to Jerusalem, who said:

3 (45). Chorus (S, A, T, B) The Wise Men; Recit. (A)

Where doth the newborn babe, the king of the Jews, lie?

    Seek him within my breast,
    He dwells here, mine and his the joy!

We have indeed his star now witnessed where morning riseth(1) and are come now to give him worship.
    Blest ye, who have this light now witnessed,
    It is for your salvation risen!
    My Savior, thou, thou art that light,
    Which to the nations shall shine also,
    And they, they do not know thee yet,
    As they e'en now would pay thee honor.
    How bright, how clear must then thy rays,
    Belove'd Jesus, be!

4 (46). Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Thy light all darkness doth consume,
The gloomy night to day transform.
Lead us upon thy pathways,
That we thy face
And glorious light
For evermore may witness!

5 (47). Aria (B)

Illumine, too, my gloomy spirit,
Illumine my bosom
With the beams of thy clear light!

    Thy word shall be my brightest candle
    In all the works which I shall do;
    My soul shall this keep from all wicked endeavor.

6 (48). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And thus when Herod the king had heard this, he trembled, and with him the whole of Jerusalem.

7 (48). Recit. (A)

Wherefore would ye be frightened?
Can my dear Jesus' presence then in you such fear awaken?
Oh! Should ye not by this
Instead be moved with gladness,
That he thereby hath pledged
To make anew mankind's well-being!

8 (50). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And assembling all the high priests and scribes from amongst the people, did he then inquire of them, where the birth of Christ was supposed to happen. And they said to him: "In Bethlehem in the land of Judea; for even thus is it written by the prophet: 'And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Judea art by no means the least among the princes of Judah; for from thee shall to me come the ruler, who shall over my people Israel be master.'"

9 (51). Aria (S, A, T)

Ah, when will that time appear then?
Ah, when will his people's hope come?
Hush, he is already here!

    Jesus, ah, then come to me!

10 (52). Recit. (A)

My dearest ruleth now.
The heart which his dominion loveth
And gives itself to him entirely
Shall be my Jesus' throne.

11 (53). Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Though in truth my heart's poor lodging
Is no lovely royal hall,
Rather but a dreary chamber,
Yet, when once thy mercy's beams
Bring to it the merest glimmer,
It seems as though with sun to shimmer.


1. I.e., "in the East."


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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