60

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.”

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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