Christmas Carols in Prose #11: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

Verkündigung an die Hirten (The Annunciation to the Shepherds) by Heinrich Vogeler

The Annunciation to the Shepherds (“Verkündigung an die Hirten”) by Heinrich Vogeler

The angel of the Lord came down at night while shepherds watched their flocks. They were all seated on the ground, and glory shined around. He said, “Fear not,” for mighty dread had seized their troubled minds. “I bring to you and all humankind glad tidings of great joy.”

“To you this day the Savior who is Christ the Lord is born of David’s line in David’s town. And this shall be the sign: you shall find the heavenly babe displayed to human view there, wrapped humbly in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.”

That’s what the seraph said, and then a shining throng of angels praising God appeared immediately after. They sang this joyful song: “All glory to God on high and peace on the earth. Henceforth let goodwill from heaven to all people begin and never cease.”

[Original Text: Nahum Tate, derived from Luke 2:8-14]

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