Countertony.Org.Uk

Thursday 22 December - We Three Kings (John Henry Hopkins)

CD Cover

Sung by Guildford Cathedral Choir, on the album "Carols at Christmas".

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iedaeorum - Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews - was displayed on Jesus' cross in John 19:20. The assertion of Jesus' kingship fills the Bible, and not just to the Jewish people - the Magi, despite their rather vague description in Matthew's Gospel, are often taken to represent the gentile 'nations', and give the newborn Jesus (along with frakincense and myrrh) the kingly gift of gold.


We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Born a king on Bethlehem plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising all men raising,
Worship Him, God most high.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Myrrh is mine: its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Heaven sings "Alleluia",
"Alleluia," the Earth replies.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.