The Twelve Days of Christmas Carols
Christmastide Reflections on Songs of the Season
Charles Wesley wrote the words and they were attached to a tune by Felix Mendelssohn, and so “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” was born. This carol is selection 119 in our Glory to God Presbyterian Hymnal. The editors share this description of the components of this popular Christmas song: “Brought together in the mid-19th century, the text and tune of this familiar carol began in quite different forms. The text had ten stanzas and began, ‘Hark, how all the welkin rings.’ The tune was created for a festival celebrating Gutenberg’s introduction of moveable type”.
This beautiful carol reminds us that the angel chorus made sure that the good news of a Savior’s birth would ring out from a stable in Bethlehem to the surrounding world.
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 heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come, offspring of the virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate deity,
pleased in flesh with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel. [Refrain]
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. [Refrain]
God, let me add my voice to the choirs of angels as I too celebrate the birth of the One who has reconciled me with you, giving me true peace and joy. Amen.