Music Notes for December 25, 2022

Hymn of the Day: “Let Our Gladness Have No End” ELW 291
Text: Bohemian carol, 15th cen.
Tune: NARODIL SE KRISTUS PAN Bohemian carol, 15th cen.

This anonymous Bohemian carol probably dates from the fifteenth century. Tobias Zavorska included it in his Kancional (1602). The translator, like the author, is unknown. Recalling the story of the rose of Jesse and the Word made flesh, it rejoices with hallelujahs that cannot be delayed and interrupt the narrative after every line. A reflective refrain gives singers a chance to catch their breath.

The tune, like the text, also probably dates from the fifteenth century and is anonymous. It appeared with different texts in The Concordia Hymnal (1932) with "Be ye joyful" and the tune named BE YE JOYFUL and in The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) with "Christ the Lord to us is born." The tune is delightful, and the raised fourth (B natural) gives it a festive folk color.