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Eighth Hymn of Christmas: In the Bleak Midwinter

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series

"12 Hymns of Christmas"

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In “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Christina Rosetti poetically pictures the cold, dark, hard condition of the earth when Jesus came to save us. This recognition should cause us to give ourselves–all that we have–to him. The tune, CRANHAM, comes from English composer Gustav Host in 1906.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
heav’n and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign:
in the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the Beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Download this hymn.

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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

One Response to Eighth Hymn of Christmas: In the Bleak Midwinter

  1. Another one of our Christmas favorites. Shaylen has a simple but beautiful harp arrangement of this hymn that she played this year. Wonderful text and tune!

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