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1    Hark! The herald angels sing,
    "Glory to the newborn king;
    peace on earth, and mercy mild,
    God and sinners reconciled."
    Joyful, all you nations, rise;
    join the triumph of the skies;
    with angelic hosts proclaim,
    "Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Refrain
    Hark! The herald angels sing,
    "Glory to the newborn king!"

2    Christ, by highest heav'n adored,
    Christ, the everlasting Lord,
    late in time behold him come,
    offspring of a virgin's womb.
    Veiled in flesh the Godhead see!
    Hail, incarnate deity!
    Pleased as man with us to dwell,
    Jesus, our Emmanuel!  Refrain

3    Hail the heav'n-born Prince of peace!
    Hail the Sun of righteousness!
    Light and life to all he brings,
    ris'n with healing in his wings.
    Mild he lays his glory by,
    born that we no more may die,
    born to raise each child of earth,
    born to give us second birth.  Refrain

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788, alt.

December 15 – Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
Hark is not a word you hear much anymore. I think that is one of the reasons I like this hymn. It starts out taking you back in time. It also reminds me of being a little embarrassed to find out that it was Halt, who goes there? I still think Hark, who goes there? is much more useful. Listen, (you say to your companions) who is there? Does it sound like danger? (If it is danger, would it really halt just because you said Halt!?) Does it sound like a friend? Some sources say Hark, the Herald Angels Sing is based on Luke 2:14. That’s the verse right after the shepherds were visited by angels (a multitude, great company, armies of heaven) What did the Shepherds think? They were used to being aware of the noises and shadows that surrounded them and their sheep. Then one night a different noise and strange light. Hark. A fluttery sound. A glow. A murmur. A sparkle. What the heck is going on here? This is creeping me out. Then suddenly they were surrounded. I think there was a little musical modulation before the angel told them to fear not! You can’t really hear when you are sore afraid. I think there was a little prelude. Some humming and maybe finger snapping, the rhythm of heartbeats or seconds ticking. Hark, we have an announcement. Fear not, we are just harbingers. Christ is born in Bethlehem! Glory to the newborn King! Hail the incarnate Deity, Jesus our Immanuel! Risen with healing in His wings!
Dear Lord, help us to hark the musical modulations that calm and prepare us for the labor ahead. Surround us with your guidance and love as we choose how to celebrate Christmas. Thank you, God, for this wonderful gift, born that we no more may die. 
Amen


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