The Christmas Story – The Magi


Arundel 83 f.124 Scenes from the life of Christ
Six scenes from the life of Christ from The Howard Psalter and Hours (England, c1310-c1320), shelfmark Arundel 83 f.124.

 

Arundel 157 f.4 Magi Miniature of the Magi from Prayer Book (St Albans, England, c1240), shelfmark Arundel 157 f.4.

 

 Egerton 2781 f.112 The Adoration of the Magi The Adoration of the Magi from Book of Hours, Use of Sarum (The ‘Neville of Hornby Hours’) (England, (S.E, London?), 2nd quarter of the 14th century, possibly the 4th decade), shelfmark Egerton 2781 f.112.
 Harley 928 f.5v Adoration of the Magi Adoration of the Magi from Book of Hours (the ‘Harley Hours’), Use of Sarum (England, Last quarter of the 13th century), shelfmark Harley 928 f.5v.

 

 Harley 2915 f.33 Adoration of the Magi Adoration of the Magi from Book of Hours, Use of Sarum (England, S. E. (London), c. 1440 – c. 1450), shelfmark Harley 2915 f.33.

 

 Royal 1 D X f.2 The Magi The Magi from Psalter (England, Central (Oxford), 1st quarter of the 13th century, before 1220) shelfmark Royal 1 D X f.2.

 

 Royal 2 B VII f.112v Adoration of the Magi Adoration of the Magi from The Queen Mary Psalter (England (London/Westminster or East Anglia?), between 1310 and 1320) shelfmark Royal 2 B VII f.112v.

 

 Royal 2 B VII f.131 Magi before Herod The three Magi before Herod from The Queen Mary Psalter (England (London/Westminster or East Anglia?), between 1310 and 1320) shelfmark Royal 2 B VII f.131.

 

 Stowe 12 f.40 Adoration of the Magi Adoration of the Magi from Breviary, Use of Sarum with Norwich variants (‘The Stowe Breviary’) (England, E. (Norwich), between 1322 and 1325) shelfmark Stowe 12 f.40.

 

 Yates Thompson 13 f.94v Adoration of the Magi Adoration of Magi from Book of Hours, Use of Sarum (‘The Taymouth Hours’) (England, S. E.? (London?), 2nd quarter of the 14th century) shelfmark Yates Thompson 13 f.94v.

All images above are English drawings from the British Library’s collection of Medieval Manuscripts and are marked as being Public Domain Images and therefore free of all copyright restrictions in accordance with the British Library’s Reuse Guidance Notes for the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts.

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We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts, we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O Star of Wonder, Star of Night,
Star with Royal Beauty bright,
Westward leading, Still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect Light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav’n replies

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Words by Reverend John Henry Hopkins (1820-1891),
written c1857 (or c1863)


We three kings of orient are,
One in a taxi one in a car,
One on a scooter beeping his hooter,
Following yonder star.

Alternative words remembered from my childhood
author unknown

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