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As Shepherds Kept Their Lonely Vigil

About the Song

This choral is used as part of two different cantatas–“Silent Night” and “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee”.

“Anbetung der Hirten”
(Adoration of the Shepherds)
Gerard von Honthorst 1622

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Lyrics

As shepherds kept their lonely vigil, in the fields abiding
A multitude of heaven’s host brought long-awaited tidings:
Gloria in excelsis deo!
Peace on earth, good will to men!
Gloria in excelsis deo!
Christ is born, born in Bethlehem.

Fear ye not the angel said, let not your hearts be troubled
But get ye up to Bethlehem to seek a lowly stable
Gloria in excelsis deo!
Peace on earth, good will to men!
Gloria in excelsis deo!
Christ is born, born in Bethlehem.

Ye shall find the holy infant lying in a manger
Come see and know and testify, this child shall be our Savior
Gloria in excelsis deo!
Peace on earth, good will to men!
Gloria in excelsis deo!
Christ is born, born in Bethlehem.

Tell the wond’rous news abroad ’til all the world rejoices
‘Til ev’ry tongue shall sing is praise and join with angel voices
Gloria in excelsis deo!
Peace on earth, good will to men!
Gloria in excelsis deo!
Christ is born, born in Bethlehem.

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9 Comments

  1. Kristie Jones

    Our ward choir is doing the whole thing and it is just so gorgeous!! Thank you so much for being so willing to share your talents and gifts with the world!!! You are SO talented!!!

    Reply
  2. Anna

    I am using this song for the second year. However, I have misplaced the violin/flute part. In this version, I do not see it. Would you be able to pass that along? Thank you!

    Reply
    • sallydeford

      Hmmm… I didn’t think I’d ever done an obbligato for this one. ?

      Reply
  3. Nancy Lord

    Do you have the guitar version of the accompaniment (as heard on the recording) written down? We’d like to do this song for our upcoming Dec. 10th Stake Christmas Sing-Along, where a 3-ward choir would be singing it, but we’d like to have the guitar play the accompaniment rather than piano, and need it in writing, per our guitarist’s request. Any chance we could get this right away?

    Reply
  4. MHunt

    Have you ever written this for men voices? It would be lovely!

    Reply
  5. Kathy Hayes

    Thank you for sharing this! I hadn’t heard it until our tiny YSA choir sang it at church Sunday. The words and music are amazing. Thank you for sharing your gift.

    Reply
  6. Emily

    Isn’t there an SSA version of this number? If so, can you link me to it? I thought there was one before, but don’t see it now.

    Reply
    • Chels

      I’d also like a copy of the SSA or SA version of this song!

      Reply
  7. Tamara

    I love you Sally DeFord!!! You have the most beautiful music and its so fun to master. My pianist needs the challenge!! Thanks a bunch.

    Reply

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