BWV 248III Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen (Weihnachts-Oratorium III)

Third Day of Christmas (St. John, Apostle and Evangelist).

Poet unknown (Picander?); PT (Leipzig, 1734); Facs: Neumann T, p. 451.

2-3 (25-26). Lk. 2:15; 5 (28). Martin Luther, verse 7 of "Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ," 1524 (Wackernagel, III, #9); 7 (30). Lk. 2:16-19; 10 (33). Paul Gerhardt, verse 15 of "Fröhlich soll mein Herze springen," 1653 (Fischer- Tümpel, III, #405); 11 (34). Lk. 2:20; 12 (25). Christoph Runge, verse 4 of "Laßt Furcht und Pein," 1653 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #514).

27 December 1734, Leipzig; Parody: 1 (24) ← BWV 214/9; 6 (29) ←  BWV 213/11.

BG 5, 2; NBA II/6.

Christmas Oratorio III

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

Ruler of heaven, give ear to our stammer,
Let these our weary refrains bring thee pleasure,
As thee thy Zion with psalms doth exalt!
Hear thou our hearts, though, exultant with praises,
As we to thee here our homage are raising,
For our salvation stands strong and secure!

2 (25). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And when the angel went away from them to heaven, there spake then the shepherds among themselves:
3 (26). Chorus (S,A,T,B) The Shepherds

“Let us now go quickly to Bethlehem and this event now witness which hath here taken place, that which the Lord made known to us.”

4 (27). Recit. (B)

He brought his people hope,
He hath his Israel redeemed,
His help from Zion he hath sent us
And all our suff ’ring ended.
See, shepherds, this thing hath he done;
Go, this thing go and see!
5 (28). Chorale (S,A,T,B)

This hath he all for us achieved
His great love to manifest;
Rejoice thus all Christianity
And thank him in eternity.

6 (29). Aria (S, B)

Lord, thy mercy, thy forgiveness,
Comforts us and makes us safe.

    Thy kind love and deep devotion,
    Thy most wonderful affection
    Here make thy paternal faith
    Once more nigh.

7 (30). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And they went forth quickly and found there both Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they, however, had ceased their looking, they spread forth the saying which had been told unto them concerning this child. And all to whom it came wondered at the story which had been reported to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept to herself then all these sayings, and she pondered them within her heart.

8 (31). Aria (A)

Keep thou, my heart now, this most blessed wonder
Fast within thy faith alway!

    And let this wonder, these godly achievements,
    Be a comfort
    And thy feeble faith support!

9 (32). Recit. (A)

Oh yes, my heart shall ever cherish
All it at this most gracious time
To its eternal bliss
With certain signs of proof doth witness.

10 (33). Chorale (S,A,T,B)

I will thee steadfastly cherish,
For thy sake
My life make,
In thee I will perish,
With thee will I one day hover
Full of joy
For alway
There when life is over.

11 (34). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And the shepherds then turned back again, glorifying and praising God for all the things which they had seen and had heard, just as it had been told to them.
12 (35). Chorale (S,A,T,B)

Be glad this while,
To make you whole
Is here as God and as a man to you born,
The one who is
The Lord and Christ
In David’s city, out of many chosen.

1. This Kyrieleis 'have mercy, Lord' provides a transition to the first line of the following aria.

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

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