Spiritual songs >The Hymnal Project > Nativity


God the Lord eternal

Current version

Here is the version in the Byzantine Catholic Hymnal (2007):

Boh predvicnyj

The same collection also included Jesus came from heaven; both hymns appear to be derived from a Polish Christmas carol, Gdy się Chrystus rodzi, published in 1843.


We have two Slavonic hymns, Spas naš narodilsja (published in 1932 with six verses) and Hospod Boh predvičnyj, which I have not been able to find before Father Levkulic's Christ is Born: Glorify Him (1969). In that booklet, the second verse of Hospod Boh predvičnyj was previously the second verse of Spas naš narodilsja, so some interchange has taken place between the two hymns.


In spite of its more recent appearance, I don't have any problem with including this hymn in its present form in the proposed hymnal. It is well known, easy to sing, and theologically accurate.

It is tempting to try and combine it with Jesus came from heaven, especially since Spas naš narodilsja has quite a few additional verses which could be translated. But as we will see in the discussion of Jesus came from heaven, that hymn has some significant problems. Hence, think we are better off keeping this hymn as it is.

Several issues in the Byzantine Catholic Hymnal version ought to be fixed:

There are a few grammatical oddities; the second line of the first verse is not a complete sentence, and "gloriously sing:" in the second verse should probably be "gloriously singing:". But on the balance, I think we are better off leaving them as-is, given the popularity of the hymn.

For the final version, see the permanent articles on God the Lord eternal and Hospod Boh predvičnyj .

Thoughts or suggestions?

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