Friday, December 17, 2010

We Three Kings

The Three Kings
The third Christmas song I present in our countdown to Christmas is "We Three Kings".
Rev John Henry Hopkins, Jr
Written by Rev John Henry Hopkins, Jr, who wrote both the lyrics and music as part of a Christmas pageant for the General Theological Seminary in New York City.  It is suggested to have been written in 1857 but not published until 1863.  Hopkins composed the piece in Williamsport, PA where he was a pastor at Christ Episcopal Church, which still stands today at the corner of Fourth and Mulberry.

Hopkins was a clergyman, author, book illustrator, stained glass window designer and editor of the "Church Journal" out of New York.  He became rector of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Plattsburgh, New York in 1872.

The three kings are probably Zoroastrian magi from the area of Persia.

Their gifts represent the following significance:
---Gold represents Jesus' kingship, not earthly, but heavenly
---Frankincense represents Jesus' role as priest---the perfect intermediary between mankind and God
---Myrrh, associated with death, represents Jesus' role as Savior, in connection with his ultimate purpose of sacrificing Himself to redeem mankind

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