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Hark, the Glad Sound! The Savior Comes

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

“Hark, the Glad Sound!" is a fine Christological hymn; it uses the Old Testament text as Christ himself did. Stanza 1 speaks about the Savior's coming. Stanzas 2 and 3 quote the Isaiah and Luke passages about Christ's mission to release those in prison, to heal the wounded, and to enrich the poor. Stanza 4 concludes with a glad response of welcome and praise to our Savior.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The phrase “long-expected” and “the Savior promised long” are descriptors of Jesus and are familiar terms to many Christians. These words speak of generations who waited while centuries passed. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 23 also uses such terminology in calling him the “long-awaited Messiah.” And Belgic Confession, Article 18 professes that this all happened only “at the time appointed.”

Call to Worship

The mighty God summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
Our God comes and will not be silent.
God calls, and we respond to his love.
The heavens declare God’s righteousness.
We tell out God’s glories!
Offer up to God your thanksgiving.
And our God will hear us, save us, and stay with us forever.
—based on Psalm 50:1-3, 6
[Reformed Worship 57:4]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
As we enter this season of Advent,
may the love of God the Father, and the grace of Jesus the Son,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be and abide with us all.
Amen!
[Reformed Worship 57:4]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

A prayer especially mindful of children
King of glory, you are God.
You are powerful.
You rule the entire world.
We praise you because you are so great.
But you became a baby.
You were tiny and weak.
You were just like us.
We praise you because you came,
and we look forward to when you will come again.
In your name we pray. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Confession

O God,
you give us your good news
and call us into a new covenant relationship with you.
Help us to prepare the way of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let the valleys be lifted up!
Draw us away from degrading thoughts and actions,
and lift from us depressions and worry.
[Silent prayer]
Through humble people, prepare your world, O God.
Let the mountains be leveled off!
End our pride and take away our arrogance:
save us from false hope and unwarranted presumption.
[Silent prayer]
Through faithful people, prepare your world, O God.
Let the crooked be made straight!
Forgive our sin, and pardon our wrongdoing;
defeat evil and overcome the power of death.
[Silent prayer]
Through saved people, prepare your world, O God.
Let the rough be made smooth!
Help us grow in understanding,
and give us wisdom to discern that which is good and true.
[Silent prayer]
Through sanctified people, prepare your world, O God.
Let all people see the salvation of our God.
Redeem your world, and make all things new,
and bring us into your holy and perfect presence,
now and for all eternity.
[Silent prayer]
Keep us humble and faithful.
Save us and sanctify us, O God.
For the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 37:7]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

We are a people of hope
waiting for the return of our Lord.
God will renew the world through Jesus,
who will put all unrighteousness out,
purify the works of human hands,
and perfect our fellowship in divine love.
Christ will wipe away every tear;
death shall be no more.
There will be a new heaven and a new earth,
and all creation will be filled with God’s glory.
—from Our Song of Hope st. 1, 21
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
—Zephaniah 3:14-18, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

May Jesus Christ be praised!
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
For he defends the cause of the poor of the people
and gives deliverance to the needy.
May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
May he have dominion from sea to sea.
May all kings fall down before him,
all nations give him service.
For he delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.
May his name endure forever,
his fame continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed in him.
May Jesus Christ be praised!
—based on Psalm 72, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely;
and may your spirit and soul and body
be kept sound and blameless
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful,
and he will do this.
—1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Tune Information

Name
RICHMOND
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
8.6.8.6

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

Sing stanza 1 in unison and stanzas 2 and 3 with jubilant accompaniment. Because stanza 4 is the only one directed to Christ, it should receive a different musical treatment than the other stanzas. Strong unison singing, a full accompaniment, and the use of the vocal or instrumental descant will help the "glad hosannas ... ring."
 
Consider using this song during Advent or as a processional for Palm Sunday.
— Bert Polman

Hymn Story/Background

"Hark, the Glad Sound!" is a fine Christological hymn; it uses the Old Testament text as Christ himself did. Stanza 1 speaks about the Savior's coming. Stanzas 2 and 3 quote the Isaiah and Luke passages about Christ's mission to release those in prison, to heal the wounded, and to enrich the poor. Stanza 4 concludes with a glad response of welcome and praise to our Savior.
 
Philip Doddridge wrote this text in 1735 with the heading "Christ's message from Luke 4:18-19" (where Christ quotes from Isaiah 61:1-2). The text was revised and published in the 1745 and the 1781 editions of the Scottish Translations and Paraphrases. It was also published in Job Orton's Hymns, Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (1755). As is customary in modern hymnals, Lift Up Your Hearts prints four (1, 3, 5, and 7) of the original seven stanzas.
 
RICHMOND (also known as CHESTERFIELD) is a florid tune originally written by Thomas Haweis and published in his collection Carmina Christo (1792). Samuel Webbe, Jr., adapted and shortened the tune and published it in his Collection of Psalm Tunes (1808). It was reprinted in 1853 in Webbe's Psalmody. Webbe named the tune after Rev. Leigh Richmond, a friend of Haweis's. The CHESTERFIELD name comes from Lord Chesterfield, a statesman who frequently visited Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, for whom Haweis worked as a chaplain.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Philip Doddridge (b. London, England, 1702; d. Lisbon, Portugal, 1751) belonged to the Non-conformist Church (not associated with the Church of England). Its members were frequently the focus of discrimination. Offered an education by a rich patron to prepare him for ordination in the Church of England, Doddridge chose instead to remain in the Non-conformist Church. For twenty years he pastored a poor parish in Northampton, where he opened an academy for training Non-conformist ministers and taught most of the subjects himself. Doddridge suffered from tuberculosis, and when Lady Huntington, one of his patrons, offered to finance a trip to Lisbon for his health, he is reputed to have said, "I can as well go to heaven from Lisbon as from Northampton." He died in Lisbon soon after his arrival. Doddridge wrote some four hundred hymn texts, generally to accompany his sermons. These hymns were published posthumously in Hymns, Founded on Various Texts in the Holy Scriptures (1755); relatively few are still sung today.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Initially apprenticed to a surgeon and pharmacist, Thomas Haweis (b. Redruth, Cornwall, England, 1734; d. Bath, England, 1820) decided to study for the ministry at Oxford and was ordained in the Church of England in 1757. He served as curate of St. Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, but was removed by the bishop from that position because of his Methodist leanings. He also was an assistant to Martin Madan at Locke Hospital, London. In 1764 he became rector of All Saints Church in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, and later served as administrator at Trevecca College, Wales, a school founded by the Countess of Huntingdon, whom Haweis served as chaplain. After completing advanced studies at Cambridge, he published a Bible commentary and a volume on church history. Haweis was strongly interested in missions and helped to found the London Mission Society. His hymn texts and tunes were published in Carmino Christo, or Hymns to the Savior (1792, expanded 1808).
 
Samuel Webbe's (the elder; b. London, England, 1740; d. London, 1816) father died soon after Samuel was born without providing financial security for the family. Thus Webbe received little education and was apprenticed to a cabinet­maker at the age of eleven. However, he was determined to study and taught himself Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, German, and Italian while working on his apprentice­ship. He also worked as a music copyist and received musical training from Carl Barbant, organist at the Bavarian Embassy. Restricted at this time in England, Roman Catholic worship was freely permitted in the foreign embassies. Because Webbe was Roman Catholic, he became organist at the Portuguese Chapel and later at the Sardinian and Spanish chapels in their respective embassies. He wrote much music for Roman Catholic services and composed hymn tunes, motets, and madrigals. Webbe is considered an outstanding composer of glees and catches, as is evident in his nine published collections of these smaller choral works. He also published A Collection of Sacred Music (c. 1790), A Collection of Masses for Small Choirs (1792), and, with his son Samuel (the younger), Antiphons in Six Books of Anthems (1818).
 
Craig S. Lang (b. Hastings, New Zealand, 1891; d. London, England, 1971), who wrote the descant, was educated at Clifton College, Bristol, England, and earned his D.Mus. at the Royal College of Music in London. Throughout his life he was an organist and a music educator as well as a composer of organ, piano, and choral works. Lang was also music editor of The Public School Hymn Book (1949). He named many of his hymn tunes after Cornish villages.
 
— Bert Polman
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