Scripture Verse

A multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13–14


Words: George P. Gran­tham, in Ca­rols for Use in Church, by Ri­chard R. Chope (Lon­don: Will­iam Clowes & Sons, 1894), num­ber 65.

Music: New­port News ar­ranged by Her­bert S. Irons (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Gran­tham or Ir­ons (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Angel hosts in bright ar­ray—
Stars their night-watch keep­ing—
Earthward wend their si­lent way,
While the world lies sleep­ing.
Through the win­try clouds they glide,
On through por­tal hoa­ry,
Where, the ox and ass be­side,
Lies the Babe of Glo­ry.


Ring the bells, and sound the horn!
Shout with ex­ul­ta­tion!
Christ the Lord to­day is born
For the world’s sal­va­tion!

All un­seen by mor­tal eye,
Reverent and low­ly;
Prostrate there, they laud on high
Him, the In­fant ho­ly.
From their lips ce­les­ti­al rise
Sounds, with joy o’er­flow­ing,
Strains up­borne be­yond the skies,
Hymns with rap­ture glow­ing.


Raphäel, arch­an­gel bright!
On thine er­rand wend­ing,
Forth again in­to the night
Mount, the clouds as­cend­ing!
Take of that, thy glit­ter­ing train,
Hosts of light, dear an­gel!
Then des­cend where Beth­le­hem’s plain
Waits thy longed ev­an­gel!


Hark the news the an­gel tells:
Lo! An in­fant stran­ger,
God’s dear Son among you dwells,
Born in Beth­le­hem’s man­ger!

Bursts a cho­rus from the sky,
Loud from Hea­ven’s por­tal:
Glory be to God on high,
Peace, good­will to mor­tal!


Angel spir­its earth­ward led,
With a hope en­dear­ing,
First to wor­ship, first to spread
News of Christ’s ap­pear­ing!
Trace we out your foot­falls light,
Praise we Christ in glo­ry,
Then waft on the tid­ings bright
Of the Gos­pel’s sto­ry!