(Yes, it is a busy season but please check back Wednesday, December 26th for a particularly moving and satisfying Christmas experience.)
Like so many, perhaps you listened to the previous posts of carols here and recovered your joyous mood. Today’s feature, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, will fill your joy with His purpose.
Perhaps you, like me, learned to sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” at a very young age and never knew just what kind of angels these “herald angels” are. Here are the first three definitions of “herald” from my 1828 Noah Webster’s American English Dictionary:
1. An officer whose business was to denounce or proclaim war, to challenge to battle, to proclaim peace, and to bear messages from the commander of an army. Hence,
2. A proclaimer; a publisher; as the herald of another’s fame.
3. A forerunner; a precursor; a harbinger.
These weren’t just any angels; they were Herald Angels. Let’s enjoy Charles Wesley’s famous and everlasting carol from one of the most gifted soprano voices of our age, Sissel, appropriately accompanied by a “full strings” concert orchestra full choir:
Go ahead and sing along (Sissel is singing the 1st and 3rd stanzas; here are the lyrics:
Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the new born King, peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled! Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies; with th’ angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem! Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the new born King!
Christ, by highest heaven adored; Christ, the everlasting Lord; late in time behold him come, offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th’ incarnate Deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King!”
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. Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King!