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Hark The Herald Angels Sing"

December 18, 2023

“Hark The Herald Angels

Charles Wesley is reported to have written more than 6,000 poems/hymns in his lifetime.  His prodigious writing produced many hymns that continue to be sung today.  His famous hymn, “Love Divine All Loves Excelling” was sung at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth as well as the Wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle just a few years ago.  This hymn occupies a significant place in English hymnody and appears in the list of accepted hymns for weddings conducted by The Church of England.  Some have suggested that it occupies a national significance in the culture of The United Kingdom.

Another hymn that Charles wrote is also sung at this time of year:  Hark The Herald Angels Sing.  This song appeared in an edition of Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739 (only a year after his evangelical conversion).

What many people do not know is that this beloved carol was not originally titled this way.  In fact, when Charles originally wrote this poem/hymn/carol he gave it a unique title.  The title employed some older English terms.  The title was “Hark, how the welkin (heaven) rings.”  This title did not last and is what we have today. And Charles was willing to make the change so people could sing the carol with more understanding. Aren't we grateful that he did.


As you sing the carol in this Christmas Season give some thought about your willingness to make changes for others that they might enjoy this holiday season.