EXPLANATION OF THE GLOSSING SYSTEM
(to understand how I describe the signs in this translation).
1. WHILE WE SHEPHERD WATCH TONIGHT,
ANGEL INFORM-us US, (2h)"WOW" WE THRILLED.
Refrain: ||: GREAT OUR (2h)JOY. (second time sign small and shift shoulder) :|| ||: alt.JOY (2nd time small and shift) :||
||: WE PRAISE GOD HEAVEN FAR-AWAY. (2nd time small and shift) :||
2. ANGEL PREDICT TODAY BORN WHO?
OUR SAVIOR SWEET IN BETHLEHEM. Refrain
3. THERE-lf LIE"over time" BABY INSIDE MANGER.
THAT-lf INFANT SMALL PAY-OFF OUR DEBT. Refrain
4. THIS-lf GIFT FROM GOD WE CHERISH DEEP.
MEAN EVERY (2h)JOY OUR HEART WILL FULL. Refrain
Notes: (2h)"WOW" - (2h) shake out hands, swiveling at elbows.
The signs between "||:" and ":||" are to be repeated.
(2h)JOY - Same sign as (2h)HAPPY but mouth "joy".
(second time sign and shift shoulder) - this song has echo passages where a portion of the refrain is repeated by the choir but sotto voce (in a subdued voice) and not with the full choir. To mirror this effect you can turn to one side the second time and use a small signing space.
alt.JOY - Like (2h)HAPPY but with alt. movement.
FAR-AWAY - , twists while moving away with tongue shuttling from side to side. For a QuickTime file of this sign, see ASL Pro: Far.
BETHLEHEM - "B" CITY. For an animated gif of this sign, see Valley Bible Church - ASL dictionary: Bethlehem.
THERE-rt - [B], PO up, FO > the thing to be honored.
MANGER - (2h), FOs down interlace fingers and then separate while ascending in outward arcs.
INFANT - (2h)[C], POs > signer, FOs ><, hold up an infant vertically.
PAY-OFF - [open 8] runs middle finger up palm (> wrist), changes to a [B], PO down, and then moves back across palm.
DEBT - [1^] taps FT against palm of [B], PO up, FO away. For a QuickTime file of this sign, see ASL Pro: Debt.
THIS-rt - [B], PO up, FO > the thing to be honored.
1. While by the sheep we watched at night,
Glad tidings brought an angel bright.
Refrain: How great our joy! (echo) Joy, joy, joy! (echo)
Praise we our God in heaven on high! (echo)
2. There shall be born, so he did say,
In Bethlehem a child today.
3. There shall the child lie in a stall,
This child who shall redeem us all.
4. This gift of God we'll cherish well,
That ever joy our hearts shall fill.
To hear the music (without words), go to The cyber hymnal: How great our joy!