Behold a Branch is Growing

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

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Melody - "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen", from Alte geistliche Kirchengesäng, Cologne, 1599
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Unknown, c. 1500; German text; on the right is a second version

Behold a branch is growing
As of loveliest form and grace,
As prophets sung, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse's race
And bears one little Flower
In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.

2. Isaiah hath foretold It
In words of promise sure,
And Mary' s arms enfold It,
A virgin meek and pure.
Through God's eternal will
This Child to her is given
At midnight calm and still.

3. The shepherds heard the story,
Proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of Glory,
Was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
And in the manger found him,
As angel heralds said.

4. This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True Man, yet very God;
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens every load.

5. O Savior, Child of Mary,
Who felt our human woe;
Savior, King of Glory.
Who dost our weakness know,
Bring us at length, we pray.
To the bright courts of heaven
And to the endless day.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

2. Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it.
The Virgin mother kind.
To show God's love aright
She bore to them a Savior,
When half-spent was the night.

3. This flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True Man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens every load.


One Christmas Eve, a monk in Trier found a blooming rose while walking in the snowy woods. He placed the rose in a vase, and placed it before the altar to the Virgin Mary.

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