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What Child is This? (Congregational Accompaniment)

About the Song

(Accompaniment for Congregation)
Words by William Dix; Traditional melody; Arranged by Sally DeFord

There have been many different harmonizations of this beautiful melody over the years, any of which would have worked–I simply chose the ones I liked best and combined them. The resulting score for the congregation (two half-sized pages) is compiled from public domain sources, and is itself public domain. The other parts of the accompaniment are my own arrangement.

Like the other instrumental accompaniments on this site, this one is written to support a large congregation. The accompaniments vary in difficulty, and in suitability for various uses. You’ll need to analyze the score to determine if the accompaniment fits your particular situation and capabilities.

Lyrics

What child is this who laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping.
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
Haste, haste to bring him laud
The babe, the son of Mary

Why lies he in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian fear, for sinners here
The silent word is pleading
Nails, spear shall pierce him through
The cross be borne for me, for you
Hail, hail the Word made flesh
The babe, the son of Mary

Then bring him incense, gold and myrrh
Come peasant, king to own him
The King of kings salvation brings
Let loving hearts enthrone him
Raise, raise the song on high
The virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy, for Christ is born
The babe, the son of Mary

2 Comments

  1. Dora

    Dear Sally,
    Thank you again. I cannot say enough how much we love and appreciate your music. Our ward choir sang “What Child is This” (with the congregation). This song brought so much spirituality into our Christmas. You are indeed a wonderful daughter of our Heavenly Father. Thanks so much for sharing your special talent with us.
    Sincerely,
    Dora G. Anderson
    Alamosa CO 4th Ward Choir Director

    Reply
  2. Camille

    This song is so pretty! I love it!

    Reply

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