From Heaven Above to Earth You Come (full score) (download)


This powerful anthem incorporates both the text and melody from Martin Luther’s famous hymn Vom Himmel hoch.

Carthage College Choirs, under the direction of Dr. Peter Dennee.




Voicing: SATB div., piano, optional percussion

Level: 4

Duration: 6 minutes

To see perusal score, please contact Jocelyn.


This new hymn with a commissioned text by poet Michael Dennis Browne works beautifully for Christmas concerts. Each stanza is composed for a different voicing, so it is perfect for mass choirs. The addition of percussion helps the music transcend to an enlightened state of joy.




From Heaven Above to Earth You Come


The Earth before You came to be Was never such a place as this,

So filled with Holy Mystery;
The Earth before You came to be.


You come to lead us all to You Who lay upon the simple straw

With creatures breathing by Your side; You come to lead us all to You.


Within each heart You make Your home; We once were hungry, now we feed;

You open every life to love;
Within each heart You make Your home.


We once were shadow, now we shine; All pilgrims on the path of light.

O kingdom come, we call Your Name; We once were shadows, now we shine.


Our joy to be what You have dreamed,

Von Himmel hoch, das komm’ ich her,

Our joy to know this grace you share,

Ich bring euch gute neue Mar;

O more than human voice can tell,

Der guten Mar bring ich so viel;

Our joy to be what You have dreamed,

Davon ich singen und sagen will.

~ Michael Dennis Browne


Program Notes


From the composer, Jocelyn Hagen


I will never forget the first time I sang in the St. Olaf Christmas Festival when I was 18 years old.
It was a beautiful and overwhelming experience for me. I can still close my eyes and remember standing next to my fellow Manitou Singers, surrounding the audience, singing My Song in the Night by Paul Christianson, my eyes filling with tears. It continues to be one of my most cherished musical memories.


When composing From Heaven Above to Earth I Come, I wanted to capture all of my favorite elements of the Christmas Festival experience: a lyrical and endearing melody, rich harmonies, elegant and meaningful text (thanks to poet Michael Dennis Browne), and an extraordinary, breathtaking climax. The music is meant to be emotional, to take your breath away, and evoke a sense of awe. This is the power of the incredible Lutheran Christmas Festival tradition of which I am so honored to be a part.


From the author, Michael Dennis Browne


It has been a joy and an honor for me to write words for music by Jocelyn Hagen and for the occasion of the Carthage College Christmas Festival. From my earliest years I have been affected by the news of the incarnation, that most astonishing endorsement of human existence by the Divine Mystery, and in writing these words, I have wanted to express, in clear and rhythmical ways, gratitude for

this unprecedented gift. Coleridge writes that the poet “echoes the primary imagination,” and so it is that images from out of the natural world can evoke – are privileged to evoke – omnipresent, omnibenevolent Spirit.

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