Meditation for the Fourth Wednesday of Advent

Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers

This great Advent hymn, Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers! appears to be based, to a limited extent, on beginning of the Epistle lesson for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Philippians 4:4-8, which begins with the opening line, Philippians 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. More importantly, the primary imagery used throughout the entire hymn is that of the arrival of the Bridegroom. This imagery is found in all the synoptic Gospels, St. Matthew 25, St. Mark 2, and St. Luke 5.

It is a hymn about the Christian expectation of the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and our need to be constantly watching for His coming. It reminds of the many who, having planned to be prepared for the arrival of Christ, will have become weary with the long wait and the cares of the world along the way, and are thus not ready when the critical moment does eventually come. In this regard then, it becomes a word of warning that we not fall into that group who fall asleep and let their lamps run out of oil so that they are not prepared to receive the Bridegroom when He arrives. Only those who are properly prepared at the time of His arrival will be allowed to go in with Him to the wedding feast of the Lamb, and we must assure that we are in their number by being constantly on guard and prepared at every moment for the unexpected call.

The original words are by Laurentius Laurenti in 1700, translated in to English by Sarah B. Findlater, 1854.
Usual Tune: Greenland by Haydn, 1819

Text:

1 Rejoice, rejoice, believers! And let your lights appear;
The evening is advancing, And darker night is near.
The Bridegroom is arising, And soon he will draw nigh;
Up, watch in expectation! At midnight comes the cry.

2 See that your lamps are burning; Replenish them with oil;
Look now for your salvation, The end of sin and toil,
The watchers on the mountain Proclaim the Bridegroom near;
Go meet him as he cometh, With al – le – lu – ias clear.

3 O wise and holy virgins, Now raise your voices higher,
Until in songs of triumph Ye meet the angel choir.
The marriage – feast is waiting, the gates wide open stand;
Rise up, ye heirs of glory! The Bridegroom is at hand.

4 Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear;
Arise, thou Sun so longed for, O’er this benighted sphere!
With hearts and hands uplifted, We plead, O Lord, to see
The day of earth’s redemption, And ever be with thee! Amen.

Here are a few sources were you may hear this hymn.

Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers

Rejoice, Rejoice Believers

with different music

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About Father D

I am a priest of the Continuing Anglican Church, the continuation of orthodox Anglicanism into the present 21st century. My theology is definitely that of a Reformed Catholic point of view, neither Roman nor Calvinist.
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