9 Days Until Christmas
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:14)
IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.
ABOUT THE CAROL
1. “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” was written by Edmund Sears, pastor of the Unitarian Church in Wayland, Mass., in 1849.
2. The song was originally titled “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.”
3. It was first sung at a Sunday School celebration.
4. The lyrics are most commonly set to one of two melodies: “Carol,” composed by Richard Storrs Willis, or “Noel,” adapted from an English melody. “Carol” is the most widely known tune to the song in the United States.
5. The song looks forward to a time when people will respond to the angels by living in peace with God and each other, and, in the last verse, likens doing so to offering the angels’ song back to them.
Let us sing back to you the song of joy: Peace on earth and goodwill to all! Amen.