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Three Kings of Orient and The Carols of Epiphany in Greece

"We Three Kings," originally titled "Three Kings of Orient" and alternatively known as "We Three Kings of Orient Are" or "The Quest of the Magi," stands as a timeless Christmas carol penned by John Henry Hopkins Jr. in 1857.

 

Three Kings of Orient - Lyrics

We Three Kings of Orient are,

Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Three Kings of Orient

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 plain,

Gold I bring to crown Him again,

King for ever,

Ceasing never

Over us all to reign.

Refrain

 

Frankincense to offer have I,

Incense owns a Deity nigh:

Prayer and praising

All men raising,

Worship Him God on High.

Refrain

 

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume

Breathes a life of gathering gloom;—

Sorrowing, sighing,

Bleeding, dying,

Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Refrain

 

Glorious now behold Him arise,

King, and God, and Sacrifice;

Heav’n sings Hallelujah:

Hallelujah the earth replies.

 

The carols of Epiphany

 

The Carols of Epiphany is a nationwide custom in Greece and is mainly sung by children on the eve of the feast of Theophany. There are many variations in the verses depending on the region, but most carols begin with the verses "Today is the Lights and the enlightment/ The happiness is big and the sanctification...".

 

Read here "Epiphany in Greece: the Meaning of the Feast - Why We Bless the Waters".

 

The carols of Epiphany in Greece nationwide

 

Today is the Lights and the enlightment

The happiness is big and the sanctification

 

Down the Jordan River

Sits our Lady the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

She carries an organ, a candle she holds

And pleads with St. John.

 

St. John lord and Baptist

Baptize this divine child of mine

 

I shall ascend to the heavens

To gather roses and incense

 

Good day, good day

Good day to you master and the missus.



The carols of Epiphany in Kefalonia island

 

A little boy in Bethlehem was placed in a cave,

and now a great man runs in the Jordan,

with a camel's skin he was wrapped in,

and with the girdle of Christ he was girded.

 

I looked up to heaven and saw a cross in the middle,

And of all the names (here the name of the landlords of the house),

again I looked and saw a wreath or two,

And with a good night's sleep, happy Epiphany.

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