Tag Archives: Feast of the Holy Innocents

On this day the Earth shall sing

14 Dec
<i>Personent hodie</i>

Personent hodie On the day the Earth shall sing

Personent hodie is translated to “On this day earth shall ring” by Jane M. Joseph.   Discovered in the Piæ Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum (“Devout ecclesiastical and scholastic songs of the old bishops”) with Latin text. Theodoricus Petri compiled 75 hymns in Piæ Cantiones, of which Personent hodie shown here is one. Jaakko Finne (or Suomalainen), a rector at the Turku Cathedral School, published Petri’s manuscript, thus preserving Finnish heritage in the form of hymn and song.

Choirs have adopted Personent hodie as a tribute on December 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

Here is “On This Day Earth Shall Ring (Personent Hodie)” by Gustav Holst. Translation from Latin to English by Jane M. Joseph (1894–1929) follows.

On this day earth shall ring

with the song children sing

to the Lord, Christ our King,

born on earth to save us;

him the Father gave us.


Id-e-o-o-o, id-e-o-o-o,

Id-e-o gloria in excelsis Deo!

His the doom, ours the mirth;

when he came down to earth,

Bethlehem saw his birth;

ox and ass beside him

from the cold would hide him.


God’s bright star, o’er his head,

Wise Men three to him led;

kneel they low by his bed,

lay their gifts before him,

praise him and adore him.


On this day angels sing;

with their song earth shall ring,

praising Christ, heaven’s King,

born on earth to save us;

peace and love he gave us.


For unto us a child is born…

~ Isaiah 9:6


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