Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Carols of Advent: Part Two

"Hark, a herald voice is sounding:
'Christ is nigh,' it seems to say.
'Cast away the dreams of darkness,
O ye children of the day!'

"Wakened by the solemn warning,
let the earth-bound soul arise;
Christ, our sun, all sloth dispelling,
shines upon the morning skies.

"Lo, the Lamb, so long expected,
comes with pardon down from heaven;
let us all, with deep repentance,
pray that we may be forgiven,

"That when next he comes with glory,
and the world is wrapped in fear,
with his mercy he may shield us,
and with words of love draw near.

"Honour, glory, might, and blessing
to the Father and the Son,
with the everlasting Spirit,
while eternal ages run."

        Hark, A Herald Voice is Sounding is one of my favourite Carols of Advent.  I learned it when I was very little, and the verses have stuck in my head ever since.  The text that is sung nowadays was translated from an old Latin chant titled Vox Clara Ecce Intonat.  This hymn is believed to have been sung as far back as the fifth century, even though the earliest manuscript dates from the tenth century.  However, it was an English clergyman by the name of Edward Caswall(b. 1814) who translated the hymn into English in the mid-1800's.  He also translated many other hymns from their Latin text into English, but this carol is likely one of the best known from his works.  From the darkness of sin and death, to glorious light of Christ, this Carol of Advent is a wonderful and glorious song of praise and worship to Christ our Saviour.  As the apostle John said, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.*"

Written and Posted by William A Moore

*John 1:5

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