130. Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

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Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light,
and usher in the morning.
You shepherds, shudder not with fright,
but hear the angel’s warning.
This child, now weak in infancy,
our confidence and joy shall be,
the power of Satan breaking,
our peace eternal making.

Text Information
First Line: Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light
Title: Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light
Author: Johann Rist (1641)
Translator: John Troutbeck (1873)
Publication Date: 2013
Meter: 8.7.8.7.8.8.7.7
Scripture: Genesis 3:8-15; Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:8-14; John 1:14; John 8:12; Ephesians 2:14
Topic: Christian Year: Nativity/Christmas; Christian Year: Epiphany; Jesus Christ: Birth
Language: English
Tune Information
Name: ERMUNTRE DICH
Composer: Johann Schop (1641)
Harmonizer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1734)
Meter: 8.7.8.7.8.8.7.7
Key: E♭ Major


Text Information:

This exuberant text, based on Isaiah 9:2–7, was the ninth of twelve stanzas in its original German hymn. The chorale tune associated with this hymn went through many changes at the hands of later composers, reaching its present form in J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.


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Audio recording: Audio (MP3)
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