Long ago, prophets knew

Long ago, prophets knew. Fred Pratt Green* (1903-2000). Written in 1970 to fit the tune THEODORIC (sometimes known as PERSONENT HODIE) from Piae Cantiones (Greifswald, 1582), at the suggestion of John Wilson*. The metre of 666.66 with its refrain, and the rhyming of aaa bb results in a hymn easy to remember, while the repetition in the chorus heightens the celebratory mood with the words ‘ring’ and ‘sing’. It was first published in Pratt Green's 26 Hymns (1971), and became well known after its inclusion in MHfT and thus in A&MNS. The content reminds us of the Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in the birth of Christ. The juxtaposition of ‘God in time, God in man’ with ‘This is God's...

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