Saturday, December 31, 2011

Obscure Carols: Gabriel's Message

Among liturgical traditions Gabriel's Message (also known as The Basque Carol) has had somewhat of a resurgence and found its way into hymnals and hymnal supplements of the last 10 or 15 years.  In the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod the carol appeared in Hymnal Supplement '98 and Lutheran Service Book (2006).

The carol is most appropriate for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, as the Gospel reading for that day is Gabriel's appearance to Mary.


The angel Gabriel from Heaven came, 
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame; 
All hail,said he,thou lowly maiden Mary, 
Most highly favored lady, Gloria! 

For know a blessèd mother thou shalt be, 
All generations laud and honor thee, 
Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold, 
Most highly favored lady, Gloria! 

 Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head, 
To me be as it pleaseth God, she said, 
My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name. 
Most highly favored lady, Gloria! 

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born 
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn, 
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say— 
Most highly favored lady,Gloria!