ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH
Traditional French Carol
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests. (Luke 2:14)
As vast numbers of angels swiftly descended toward earth through the star sprinkled sky, the leading angel halted them with a sign. They hovered with folded wings over a silent field near Bethlehem. “There they are,” said the leading angel, “the humble shepherds who have been chosen by God to receive our message. It will be the most wonderful news that mortal man has ever received. Are you ready with your great angelic chorus?”
The leading angel drifted slightly downward so that he could be seen by the shepherds below. They were terrified! Each one of them covered his face in the brilliance of the light but earnestly listened with awe as the vision before them began to speak in their own language:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.”
Instantly surrounding the angel was the brilliant heavenly host, and echoing through the sky was the most beautiful singing that the shepherds had ever heard, exulting and praising God for the long-awaited gift of His Son. They made haste to see the Savior with their own eyes.
The Bible teaches that angels are the ministering servants of God and that they are continually being sent to help and protect us, the heirs of salvation. Certainly their most important task, however, was this momentous occasion announcing Christ’s arrival on earth!
Although little is known of its origins, this inspiring 18th century French carol has become a universal favorite.
Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains, and the mountains, in reply, echoing their joyous strains.
Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong? What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heav’nly song?
Come to Bethlehem and see Him whose birth the angels sing; come, adore on bended knee Christ the Lord, the new-born King.
See Him in a manger laid, Jesus, Lord of heav’n and earth; Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, with us sing our Savior’s birth.
Refrain: Gloria in excelsis Deo!
For Today: Luke 1:46–55; Luke 2:7–20
Rejoice that His angels are concerned about you and are sent to protect you personally. Sing this musical refrain—
Osbeck, K. W.
- Then Mary said, My soul magnifieth the Lord, And my spirit rejoiceth in God my Savior. For he hath looked on the poor degree of his servant: for behold, from henceforth shall all ages call me blessed, Because he that is mighty hath done for me great things, and holy is his Name. And his mercy is from generation to generation on them that fear him. He that showed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and sent away the rich empty. He hath upholden Israel his servant to be mindful of his mercy, (As he hath spoken to our fathers, to wit, to Abraham and his seed) forever.. Luke 1:46–55
- And she brought forth her first begotten son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a cratch, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them, and they were sore afraid. Then the Angel said unto them, Be not afraid: for behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, that shall be to all people, That is, that unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you, Ye shall find the babe swaddled, and laid in a cratch. And straightway there was with the Angel a multitude of heavenly soldiers, praising God, and saying, Glory be to God in the high heavens, and peace in earth, and toward men of good will. And it came to pass when the Angels were gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said one to another, Let us go then unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to unto us. So they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph and the babe laid in the cratch. And when they had seen it, they published abroad the thing that was told them of that child. And all that heard it, wondered at the things which were told them of the shepherds. But Mary kept all those sayings, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God, for all that they had heard and seen, as it was spoken unto them. Luke 2:7–20
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