13 December 2012

Sing We All of Christmas: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

This week, my colleague and I are playing Christmas duets as prelude to our (private) school's sacred Christmas concert.  Although I haven't disliked it before, it wasn't until our practice sessions that this carol took on special sparkle for me.  There's just something triumphant about it that I hadn't noticed as much before.
And as I re-read the text, I find in it the depth of mercy offered only by God Himself, in all its beauty.
Hrak! 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 angelic hosts proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Christ by highest heaven adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord;
In the manger born a king,
While adoring angels sing,
"Peace on earth to men goodwill;"
Bid the trembling soul be still,
Christ on earth has come to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel!
Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Life and Light to all he brings
Risen 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.
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal 122; text by Charles Wesley; tune MENDELSSOHN, arranged from Mendelssohn's work by William H. Cummings.
Photo of farm field in winter near my home.  Perhaps like the shepherds would have been in if they had been from Virginia.

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