Friday, January 6, 2017

We Three Kings

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
El Día de los Reyes is celebrated in Latin America on January 6.

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 a 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 Heaven replies.

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


— John Henry Hopkins Jr.


Regarded as the first American Christmas carol, We Three Kings was written by John Henry Hopkins Jr. for a Christmas pageant in New York in 1857. Originally known as Three Kings of Orient each verse of the carol was meant to be sung by a different male voice to represent each of the three kings attending the birth of Jesus. The chorus was sung by all. Hopkins included We Three Kings in his Carols, Hymns and Songs published in 1862.

Three Kings Day is celebrated in Latin America on the Epiphany as El Día de los Reyes. Children receive their Christmas presents on Día de los Reyes.