‘I Do Not Seek for Glory’

There are a few Christmas songs in the Finnish LDS hymnbook which are not in the English hymnbook. One is entitled ‘En etsi valtaa, lositoa,’ which gets translated into the English as ‘I Do Not Seek for Glory.’ The original lyrics are from the Finnish poet Zacharias Topelius, written in Swedish. The tune is by Jean Sibelius. The English translation is by J.J. Mary Hatakka.

I do not seek for glory,
I do not seek for wealth,
I ask the light of heaven,
And peace o’er all the earth.
When Christmas comes, our God is nigh,
His joy will lift our hearts on high;
Nor glory or the rich man’s wealth
But peace o’er all the earth.

To all mankind both high and low,
Come holy Christmastide!
And let the light of heaven
Shine through this world so wide.
Descend to us, our Lord Divine,
Give s Thy joy at Christmas time,
To all mankind both high and low,
Come holy Christmastide!


  1. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing it.

  2. My favorite was always the Advent hymn Hosianna Davidin Poika. I assume it is still in the hymnbook.

  3. This is a gorgeous hymn, and beautifully performed.

    Do you know a source for the sheet music of this arrangement?

  4. Utahn in CT says:

    There’s something wonderful about Finnish Christmas songs. I also love “Joulupuu on rakenettu.”

  5. Utahn in CT says:

    Hyva’nen aika! Make that “Joulupuu on rakennettu.”

  6. That was lovely.

  7. Sheldon, it’s not. Our ward photocopies it every year for advent.

  8. I have a CD recording of a Swedish parish church choir singing this exquisite tune. I assume then that it’s not exclusively a Finnish song?

  9. I was just commenting to my wife that for as long as Christmas hymns have been written, there are surprisingly few really beautiful ones. At least now I know where to look! Thanks!

  10. @ Sheldon,

    The Hosiaana was one of several hymns that was taken out of the newer version of the book, though as Norbert said, it still makes its way into some meetings.

    Incidentally, I recall a meeting in an unnamed ward in an unnamed city in Finland in which the bishopric tried desperately to prevent the song from being sung, going so far as to announce from the pulpit that the paper program was incorrect in listing it as a musical number, and that it would NOT be sung, despite years of tradition jne…However, to the shock of the bishopric and the delight of us missionaries sitting in the congregation, the woman conducting the music went into revolt and started playing Hosiaana the second the meeting ended–everyone stood up and sang. It was hilarious…at least for those of that were there.

%d bloggers like this: