1 The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame:
'From God, all hail,' the angel said to Mary,
'most highly favoured lady!'

2 'Fear not, for you shall bear a holy child,
by him shall we to God be reconciled;
his name shall be Emmanuel, the long-foretold:
most highly favoured lady!'

3 Then gentle Mary humbly bowed her head:
'To me be as it pleases God,' she said,
'My soul shall praise and magnify his holy name.'
Most highly favoured lady!

4 'And so,' she said, 'how happy I shall be!
All generations will remember me;
for God has kept his promises to Israel.'
Most highly favoured lady!

5 Of her, Emmanuel - the Christ - was born
in Bethlehem, upon that Christmas morn.
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say,
'Most highly favoured lady!

S Baring Gould
© in this version Word & Music / The Jubilate Group

CCL# 3425598