Brightest and Best


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a cappella SATB – words by Reginald Heber, music by Jean Ritchie – arr. Peter Amidon

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      Brightest and Best

In the Amidons’ book & CD ‘Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choir‘ Sung here by the Starry Mountain Singers, Zara Bode soloist. This is Peter’s arrangement of Jean Ritchie’s version of a song that can be found in several incarnations, including “Star In the East”, an American folk hymn published in the early 1800s in the “Southern Harmony“.

      •  Jean Ritchie sings “Brightest and Best”

      • “Star in the East” from the Southern Harmony

Brightest and Best
words  Reginald Heber

Hail the blest morn! See the great Mediator
Down from the regions of Glory descend!
Shepherds, go worship the Babe in the manger;
Lo, for a guard the bright angels attend.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning!
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star in the east, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant redeemer is laid.

Cold on his cradle the dew-drops are shining;
Low lies his bed, with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore him, in slumber reclining,
Wise men and shepherds before him do fall.

Say shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
Odours of Eden, and offerings divine,
Gems from the mountain and pearls from the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine.

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favour secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.