It’s Christmas Day so somewhat predictably (although for the first time in a while) I am at the organ console this morning.
For once, I was allowed to choose the hymns myself. But considering the congregation, I chose mostly hymns that I think are well known…
First hymn: The First Nowell
Second hymn: Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Third hymn: To-Day Be Joy in Every Heart
Fourth hymn: O Come, All Ye Faithful
I am sure that most readers will know the words of the first, second, and fourth hymns, but as the third hymn is not one I’ve known before I found it in Hymns of Faith & Freedom which is the book used at All Souls’ Belfast where I am playing, I thought I’d put the words up here.
To-day be joy in every heart,
For lo, the angel throng
Once more above the listening earth
Repeats the advent song:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men!”
Before us goes the star,
That leads us on to holier births
And life diviner far.
Ye men of strife, forget to-day
Your harshness and your hate;
Too long ye stay the promised years
For which the nations wait.
And ye upon the tented field,
Sheath, sheathe to-day the sword;
By love, and not by might, shall come
The kingdom of the Lord.
O star of human faith and hope,
Thy light shall lead us on,
Until it fades in morning’s glow,
And heaven on earth is won!