On Christmas Eve in 1816 after reading in Luke chapter two of the heralding of the angels, prolific hymn writer James Montgomery began to write. At days end he had written a poem that appeared in his newspaper the following day. A blind songwriter and organist, Henry Smart, wrote a melody that was later used as a musical setting for Montgomery’s poem. The song was first sung in a Moravian Church in England, on Christmas day in 1821, and from that day on the world would have the wonderful carol, often heard at Christmas time, “Angels From the Realms of Glory.”1
Angels from the realms of glory,
wing your flight o’er all the earth;
ye who sang creation’s story
now proclaim Messiah’s birth
Come and worship, come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn king.
Shepherds, in the field abiding,
watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
yonder shines the infant light:
Sages, leave your contemplations,
brighter visions beam afar;
seek the great Desire of nations;
ye have seen his natal star
I’m continuing to enjoy so many of your Hymns of the Day. They’re often performed by singers or bands I’m already familiar with, but not always. So I’m also enjoying exploring new songs that your hymn suggestions lead me on to. Thanks for the work you put into background notes as well.
I’m so glad you’re enjoying them!