words and music: John H. Hopkins, Jr.
Arr: Ruth Randle 2006
As the Christmas season again approaches, we have
selected an old carol that retells the Biblical account
of the birth of Christ. This music was composed in 1857
by John H. Hopkins, Jr., who was later ordained as a
priest of the Episcopal Church in Williamsport, PA. He
is reputed to have written this carol for the General Theological Seminary in New
York City as part of their Christmas pageant. His carol
is the well-known story of the Three Wise Men (Magi), as
documented in Matthew 2: 1-12. We see their
representation in the many creches displayed during the
Christmas Season. The carol, of course, is "We
Three Kings of Orient Are". As related in the lyric
verses, this old story, ever new, tells us of the birth,
death, and resurrection of Christ.
Traditions identify a variety of different names for
the Magi. In the Western Christian church they have been
commonly known as Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar. These
names apparently derive from a Greek manuscript probably
composed in Alexandria around 500 A.D., and which has
been translated into Latin with the title Excerpta
Latina Barbari. Another Greek document from the 8th
century, of presumed Irish origin and translated into
Latin with the title Collectanea et Flores,
continues the tradition of three kings and their names,
and gives additional facts.
The Historical Links below give further details.
Enjoy a very Blessed Holiday Season.
Your 1-3-5 Team
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