Monday, December 14, 2009

Angels From the Realms of Glory

heark, the herald angels sing
Originally uploaded by Melvin T. Schlubman

Do you love the words to hymns?

I bought a book "Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories" and aim to post about it in future.

Today I read the lyrics to "Angels From the Realms of Glory", written by James Montgomery (1816) and Henry Smart (1867).

It begins:

Angels from the realms of glory,

Wing your flight o'er all the earth;

Ye who sang creation's story,

Now proclaim Messiah's birth:

Come and worship, Come and worship,

Worship Christ, the new-born King.

James Montgomery was inspired to write the words after reading Luke 2, in particular verse 13. He was orphaned at a tender age, when his parents felt the calling to be missionaries in Barbados, and they died there. His parents had left him in Ireland in a Moravian community. He became a respected community leader and publisher of the Sheffield Iris newspaper, and this song was first sung on Christmas day in 1821 in a Moravian church in England.

I love to sing these songs when alone. Trust me, you don't want to hear me, though I do sing with enthusiasm.

This Advent season is when angels are especially winging o'er all the earth, I believe.


Heart2Heart said...


What a beautiful way to bring in the reason for the Christmas season and joy it offers.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Karen said...

There is also a book of just Christmas hymns that is like a little devotional and gives some background on the old favorites. I need to get the name from my friend who used it to give a devo at our ladies party last weekend. The stories behind the songs are always interesting.

Robyn Campbell said...

It's amazing what the word can inspire. I know when I am praying and studying scripture, I have a lot of inspiration for my writing.

One of my picture books comes from a day when I was reading my bible and reading an article that was written by Charles Stanley.

And think of all the art work inspired by the word of God. His word is awesome, we are to live it, breathe it, and even eat it. :) It's like honey to our mouths.

robert said...

Karen mentions a devotional book about Christmas carols. I'm sure she can't mean mine, as it's at the printer as I write. But it should be available soon. Amazon has already posted it--a book about 63 carols and Christmas hymns, called Discovering the Songs of Christmas.

Meanwhile, if the background of our traditional hymns and gospel songs interests you, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns. Merry Christmas!