O Littlel Town of Bethlehem

Connie Sanchez

Little Town of Bethlehem

Phillips Brooks 1835-1893


Phillips Brooks was an episcopal priest in Pennsylvania. He wrote this hymn for children.  He had recently been to the Holy Land and visited Bethlehem where he was touched by a Christmas Eve service at the Church of the Nativity.

I visited Israel a couple of years ago and we were not allowed to travel to Bethlehem. I hope to return and pray it will be open at that time. While I was there staying in Jerusalem our room faced Bethlehem and we were able to look out over the “fields of Bethlehem” at night and see the lights of the city in a distance.  I can only imagine what the shepherds felt as they were directed to go into the city and look for a child laying in a manger.  Glory to God!!

  1. O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
  2. For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above, While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wond’ring love. O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth, And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!
  3. How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n; So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n. No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.
  4. Where children pure and happy pray to the blessed Child, Where misery cries out to Thee, Son of the mother mild; Where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door, The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.
  5. O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; Oh, come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

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