Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

Once upon a time, two missionary brothers, John and Charles Wesley, were introduced to worship by a few German Moravian Christians while crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  The Wesley brothers were impressed with the hymn singing of the Moravians, even while sailing through fierce Atlantic storms.  They realized that hymn singing could be an uplifting, spiritual experience.

Fast forward a few years…Charles Wesley’s hymns was first published in 1739, and brother John followed suit with his own hymnal, which he prefaced with this directive:

Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, then when you sung the songs of Satan.

 Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. [1]

Today’s Christmas carol shares the gospel of grace and calls for hearty singing with good courage!  Let us focus today on Jesus, the newborn King, Prince of Peace, our everlasting Lord, and Son of Righteousness, bringing Light, Life, and healing to us all!! And we will live happily ever after!

 

Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing!
          
 by Charles Wesley

 Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
 
 Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
 
 
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
 

 

I uploaded two versions of this song in the music box.  Chris Tomlin’s rendition is from his Christmas CD,  Glory in the Highest.  And I had to include a personal favourite, sung by Johnny Cash.

[1]  from John Wesley’s Select Hymns, 1761

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