Since Kaspar Füger (1521-92) wrote this hymn for Christmas, it has usually been sung to its own tune, WIR CHRISTENLEUT, on which ECCE AGNUS (The Lutheran Hymnal No. 165) is based. Here is Catherine Winkworth’s (pictured, 1827-78) translation:
We Christians may Rejoice today,
When Christ was born to comfort and to save us.
Who thus believes No longer grieves,
For none are lost who grasp the hope He gave us.
O wondrous joy That God on high
Should take our flesh and thus our race should honor!
A Virgin mild Hath born this Child;
Such grace and glory God hath put upon her.
Sin brought us grief, But Christ relief,
When down to earth He came for our salvation.
Since God with us Is dwelling thus,
Who dares to speak the Christian’s condemnation?
Then hither throng With happy song
To Him whose birth and death are our assurance;
Through whom are we At last set free
From sins and burdens that surpassed endurance.
Yea, let us praise Our God and raise
Loud alleluias to the skies above us.
The bliss bestowed Today by God
To ceaseless thankfulness and joy should move us.