Scripture Verse

A great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests. Luke 2:13–14


Words: From Har­mo­nia Sacra, by Jo­seph Funk (1778–1862).

Music: Christ­mas George F. Han­del, from the op­era Ci­roë (Cy­rus), 1728. Ar­ranged in Har­mon­ia Sac­ra, 1812 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Funk (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

George F. Handel (1685–1759)


Hark from on high those bliss­ful strains!
Whence can such sweet­ness be?
Have an­gels waked their gold­en harps
With Heav’n’s own min­strel­sy?
With Heav’n’s own min­strel­sy?

Or do we hear the che­rub voice
Of in­fant bands who raise,
Soaring from earth ce­les­ti­al notes
In their cre­at­or’s praise?
In their cre­at­or’s praise?

Thus spake the shep­herds—yet with dread,
So strange the sounds they heard,
While o’er their slum­ber­ing flocks they kept
Their wont­ed night­ly guard,
Their wont­ed night­ly guard.

And soon they saw a dazz­ling light
Beam through the star­ry way,
And shin­ing se­raphs clus­ter­ing where
The in­fant Je­sus lay,
The in­fant Je­sus lay.

They came a Sav­ior’s birth to tell,
And tunes of rap­ture sing;
Hence the glad notes that filled the air—
Each swept his loud­est string,
Each swept his loud­est string.

But now in ac­cents soft and kind
The chief­tain an­gel said,
Heav’ns tid­ings of great joy we bear—
Shepherds, be not afraid,
Shepherds, be not afraid.