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Notes on the Notes – December 22, 2019

Advent 4 – Christmas Sunday

To Dream of Something New

    Isaiah 7:10-16     Matthew 1:18-25

“Angels from the Realms of Glory” (VU #36)


“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 newborn King.

Shepherds in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,

God with us is now residing, yonder shines the infant Light:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sages, leave your contemplations; brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations; ye have seen his natal star:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.

Saints before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending, in his temple shall appear:
Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King.”

‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’ began as a poem rather than a song. Lyricist James Montgomery said he felt inspired to write the words to it quickly on December 24, 1816 after reading the Bible’s account of the first Christmas. The words flowed easily as Montgomery reflected on the angels’ announcement of Jesus Christ’s birth. That evening (Christmas Eve), he published the words as a poem in the newspaper he owned in London, England, The Sheffield Iris.

Much later, in 1867, composer and organist Henry Smart set Montgomery’s words to music that he had previously written for a song he called ‘REGENT SQUARE’ (named after Regent Square Presbyterian Church in London, England) and named the new song ‘Angels From the Realms of Glory’.

See the song played on Pipe Organ at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTrJONTyGJc

Hear Paul Baloche sing the carol at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjyvuf4ZFcY

“Hark! the Glad Sound” (VU #29)

This joyous hymn announces the Saviour’s imminent arrival.   The text is a paraphrase of Luke 4:18-19, written by the Reverend Philip Doddridge on December 28, 1738.  Doddridge was a pastor of a Dissenting church, which means that he did not accept the authority of the Church of England.  He wrote this hymn and many others –– perhaps 400 in all – not for publication but to be sung by his congregation.

“Hark, the glad sound! The Saviour comes,
The Saviour promised long:

Let every heart prepare a throne,
And every voice a song.

He comes, the prisoners to release
In Satan’s bondage held;

The gates of brass before him burst,
The iron fetters yield.

He comes, the broken heart to bind, the bleeding soul to cure,
And with the treasures of his grace to bless the humble poor.

Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace, your welcome shall proclaim;
And heaven’s eternal arches ring with your beloved name.”

Hear the song sung in worship at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7MNgmUT47c


“Ring, Christmas bells
Ring them loud with the message bringing Peace on the earth
Tidings of good cheer

Come carollers  – come and join with the angels singing “Joy to the world”
Christmastime is here!

Children gather around and listen
You’ll hear the sound of angels filling the sky
Telling everyone Christmastime is here

Loved ones close to our hearts and strangers in lands a far
Together share in the joy, Emmanuel
He has come to dwell
With one voice, let the world rejoice.

Angels we have heard on high,
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains…

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!”

This modern Christmas song was written by popular Christian singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith and Joanna Carlson in 1998, and arranged by Lloyd Larson in 2009.

See liturgical dance to Michael W. Smith’s recording:

“A Communion of Carols”

This beautiful medley of carols was arranged by John Purifoy (2011).

“O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky look down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The first Noel the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
’round yon virgin mother and child;
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.”

“Celebrate Jesus the King”

“A tiny Child was born in royal David’s town.
The Holy Son of God,
Love to the earth come down.

Now let us together praise the King forever.
Glory to God! Hear the angels sing.
Let ev’ry nation sound the jubilation!
Celebrate Jesus, the King!

A tiny Child was born in lowly Bethlehem.
When shepherds heard the news, they ran to worship Him.

Now let us together praise the King forever…

Alleluia! Lift your voice and sing!
Alleluia! Celebrate Jesus, the King!

Let us together praise the King forever…”

This joyful anthem was written by Michael Barrett and J. Paul Williams in 2010.

Christmas week 

Categories: Notes on the Notes