Fairest Lord Jesus - Hymn Story - the story behind this hymn is somewhat elusive. Some traditions say it's as old as the 12th century, sung when Crusaders made their way to the Holy Land. Originally, some believe, it was sung to a Gregorian chant. None of that can be substantiated.
Others attribute the hymn to around 1620, when the followers of the reformer John Hus were driven from Bohemia in a bloody purge. They settled in Silesia, now part of Poland. This is said to have been a Bohemian folk song.
The first known appearance of the hymn was in the Roman Catholic Munster Gesangbuch of 1677. Hoffman Fallersleben heard a group of Silesians singing this hymn, wrote down what they sang, and published it in his Schlesische Volkslieder in 1842. This is the version of the hymn we know. The hymn appeared in English in Richard Storrs Willis'Church Chorals and Choir Studies in 1850. Willis was also the composer of It Came upon a Midnight Clear.
This arrangement is by our own Nancy Reeves using the text set to a new melody/harmony.