O little town of Bethlehem - Phillips Brooks & Lewis H. Redner

Translated into ASL by David Bar-Tzur

Created 17 December 2005, links updated monthly with the help of LinkAlarm.

EXPLANATION OF THE GLOSSING SYSTEM
(to understand how I describe the signs in this translation).

1. LITTLE PLACE CALLED BETHLEHEM, WE LOOK-AT-ctr YOU-ctr NOW PEACE.
WHILE PEOPLE SLEEP, DREAM NOT-YET, STAR DOT-SKY PEACE stars-SAME-AS-city.
TRUE YOUR-ctr STREET"each" NOW DARK, BUT STILL ONE PLACE THERE-ctr BRIGHT.
(<) WE HOPE, (>) WE FEAR, UP-TO-NOW MANY YEAR. TONIGHT OUR PROBLEM SOLVE.

2. MARY GIVE-BIRTH CHRIST. LOOK-UP SEE WHO LOOK-DOWN.
DURING PEOPLE SLEEP, THOSE-rt,hi ANGEL PROTECT.
ME CALL-ON (2h)#ALL STAR TOGETHER ANNOUNCE THIS-lf HOLY BIRTH.
SING PRAISE GOD, HIMSELF-lf KING. NOW PEACE SPREAD HERE EARTH.

3. QUIET, QUIET, GOD DO MIRACLE FOR US.
GOD FAR-AWAY-rt HEAVEN SEND BLESSING, GIFT-TO-us FOR OUR HEART.
NO PERSON CAN HEAR HIM-lf,hi COME, BUT HERE THIS WORLD HAVE SIN,
IF SOUL ACCEPT HIM-lf,hi HUMBLE, SWEET CHRIST WILLING ENTER INSIDE-SELF.

4. IF CHILDREN PURE, HAPPY PRAY TO THIS-lf CHILD, GOD BLESS-lf,
IF PERSON SUFFER PRAY TO YOU-lf, SON YOUR-lf MOTHER KIND,
IF SOFT-HEART WATCH-lf, AND FAITH OPEN-HEART WORSHIP-lf,
DARK NIGHT GONE, GLORY SHINE-DOWN-lf, CHRISTMAS ARRIVE AGAIN.

5. HOLY CHILD FROM BETHLEHEM, COME-DOWN-TO'spiral' US, WE PRAY.
FORGIVE FORGIVE OUR SIN, ENTER OUR HEART, IDEA~LIKE WE BORN AGAIN.
WE HEAR CHRISTMAS ANGEL. THEY-rt,hi INFORM-us US GOSPEL PAH.
COME-DOWN-TO'spiral' US, PLEASE LIVE INSIDE-SELF, OUR LORD E-M-M-A-N-U-E-L.


Notes: BETHLEHEM - "B" CITY. For an animated gif of this sign, see Valley Bible Church - ASL dictionary: Bethlehem. Note: Because BETHLEHEM already has CITY in the sign, I translated "O little town" as LITTLE PLACE to avoid the redundancy of LITTLE CITY CALLED "B" CITY.

YOU - Underlined prounouns (ME, YOU, HE) are honorific indices, using the FT of the upturned palm to indicate who is being honored.

DOT-SKY - (2h)[5:], POs away, FOs up, hands move down with stabbing motions as if indicating the stars.

stars-SAME-AS-city - [Y], PO > DS, FO up, thumb moves down but > ctr, then little finger moves > the stars above.

MARY - [M] touches NDS temple, is drawn across forehead, and descends. For a QuickTime file of this sign, see ASL Pro: Mary - 1.

GIVE-BIRTH - S-BORN.

(2h)#ALL - (2h)[A], POs ><, FOs up, are held at shoulder height and move away while opening to (2h)[L].

HOLY - H-CLEAN. For a QuickTime file of this sign, see ASL Pro: Holy - 1.

MIRACLE - WONDERFUL(1x) WORK. For an animated gif of this sign, see Animated dictionary of religious signs - Deaf Missions: Miracle.

FAR-AWAY - [1], twists while moving away with tongue shuttling from side to side. For a QuickTime file of this sign, see ASL Pro: Far.

BLESS/ING - (2h)[O^], POs ><, held at mouth. Hands are brought downwards while opening to (2h)[5]. For a QuickTime file of this sign, see ASL Pro: Bless.

GIFT-TO-us - (2h)[X], POs ><, FOs up, hands tip back towards signer to show that something is given as a gift.

THIS - When underlined, I mean the honorific index, otherwise (2h)[1^], POs down, FOs away, hands descend 2x.

SIN - (2h)[X] touch their respective sides of the mouth, descend to neutral space and circle antisymmetrically parallel to the chest. For an animated gif of this sign, see Animated dictionary of religious signs - Deaf Missions: Sin.

INSIDE-SELF - The FT of [C] are held against the chest and stuff the FT of [O^] into the [C] twice.

PURE - like NICE but the DH moves backwards slightly on the palm, pauses, then moves forward rapidly to show intensity.

KIND - (2h)[B^], POs ><, FOs away, NDH is held close to heart and DH circles around it.

SOFT-HEART - HEART + (2h)[5^] descend slightly twice while closing to (2h)[O^].

WORSHIP - NDH is clasped over DH [S] and hands circle perpendicular to the chest. For an animated gif of this sign, see Animated dictionary of religious signs - Deaf Missions: Worship.

GONE - [5^], PO > face, FO up, moves dowards and closes to a [O^], while the NDH is a [B], PO > singer, FO > DS held further away and in neutral space.

GLORY - (2h)[5], POs><, FOs away from signer, DH which is on top wiggles fingers while ascending. For an animated gif of this sign, see Animated dictionary of religious signs - Deaf Missions: Glory.

FORGIVE FORGIVE - Sign EXCUSE, then change dominance (switch hands) and sign EXCUSE again.

IDEA~LIKE - a blending where IDEA has a [Y] instead of an [I] in anticipation of LIKE which - signed smoothly right afterwards.

GOSPEL - G-NEW.

COME-DOWN-TO'spiral' - (2h)[B^] move in circles pivoting at the wrists while eyes gaze upwards as if beckoning God to come down.

PAH! - Like SUCCEED but "pah" is mouthed and has the meaning of "at long last". For a QuickTime movie of this sign, see ASL browser - finally.

Lyrics:

1. O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

2. For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!

3. How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv'n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

4. Where children pure and happy pray to the bless¸d Child,
Where misery cries out to Thee, Son of the mother mild;
Where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.

5. O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

treble clef as a symbol for musicTo hear this hymn (without words), go to Cyberhmnal.org - O Little Town Of Bethlehem.

To see another translation of this hymn performed, go to O little town of Bethlehem.signing hands

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