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

Introduction

portrait
Samuel Medley (1738–1799)

Words: Sam­uel Med­ley, 1782.

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

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George F. Handel (1685–1759)

Lyrics

Mortals, awake, with an­gels join,
And chant the so­lemn lay,
Joy, love, and gra­ti­tude com­bine,
To hail the aus­pi­cious day,
To hail the aus­pi­cious day.

In Heav’n the rap­tu­rous song be­gan,
And sweet se­ra­phic fire
Through all the shin­ing le­gions ran,
And strung and tuned the lyre,
And strung and tuned the lyre.

Swift through the vast ex­panse it flew,
And loud the ec­ho rolled,
The theme, the song, the joy, was new—
’Twas more than Heav’n could hold,
’Twas more than Heav’n could hold.

Down through the por­tals of the sky
The im­pe­tu­ous tor­rent ran;
And an­gels flew, with ea­ger joy,
To bear the news to man,
To bear the news to man.

Wrapped in the si­lence of the night
Lay all the east­ern world,
When burst­ing, glo­ri­ous, heav’n­ly light
The won­drous scene un­furled,
The won­drous scene un­furled.

Hark! the che­ru­bic ar­mies shout,
And glo­ry leads the song:
Good will and peace are heard through­out
The har­mo­ni­ous heav’n­ly throng,
The har­mo­ni­ous heav’n­ly throng.

O for a glance of heav’n­ly love
Our hearts and songs to raise,
Sweetly to bear our souls above,
And min­gle with their lays,
And min­gle with their lays!

With joy the chor­us we re­peat,
Glory to God on high!
Good will and peace are now com­plete,
Jesus was born to die,
Jesus was born to die.

Hail, Prince of Life, for­ev­er hail!
Redeemer, Bro­ther, Friend!
Though earth, and time, and life shall fail
Thy praise shall ne­ver end,
Thy praise shall ne­ver end.