Thursday, December 1, 2011

Angels We Have Heard On High

This is my little folk art angel.  Isn't she lovely?  I like her sign proclaiming peace.  I believe this proclamation is a reminder that we all need God's peace during these turbulent times.  When I look at her, I think of one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Angels We Have Heard On High."  And I think of Andy Williams as one who sings it who I most enjoy.  I have one of his Christmas CDs and this Christmas Carol is on it.  I had no idea that this beautiful song was the first Christmas hymn of the Christian church!

Here is a short history and the lyrics to the song.  Join me in singing this beautiful hymn that tells of our dear Savior's birth.

In A.D. 129, Telesphous, Bishop of Rome, ordained that, "In the Holy Night of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, all shall solemnly sing the 'Angel's Hymn.' " With that proclaimation the 'Angels Hymn' became the first Christmas hymn of the Christian church. Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick, and its most memorable feature is its chorus Gloria in Excelsis Deo!, which is Latin for Glory to God in the Highest.

Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly o'er the plains,
And the mountains
in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be,
Which inspire your heavenly song
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!