“O Sing a Song of Bethlehem,” “My Soul Gives Glory to My God,” “Il est né le Divin Enfant: |Hymns for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.
COME SING WITH US THIS FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!
At Princeton United Methodist Church, we play beautiful classical and sacred music during worship, which refreshes the spirit. We also sing well-known or new hymns and “gospel and folk songs” that lift us to Heaven. We pray that our music will inspire everyone, old and young, and help them find faith and hope. Our hymns this Fourth Sunday of Advent – the last Sunday before Christmas – resonate with the theme of peace as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth in a few days. The Messiah’s coming will indeed bring liberation.
“O Sing a Song of Bethlehem” was written by Louis Fitzgerald Benson of Philadelphia (1855-1930). It portrays Jesus’ life from birth, his growing up to adulthood, his ministry, death, and resurrection. The stanzas describe scenes about Jesus in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee, and Calvary. They speak of ordinary human experiences such as our desire to hear angels, our enjoyment of nature, our praying for God’s peace, and our longing for Jesus’ second coming:
‘The light that shone on Bethlehem fills all the world today; of Jesus’ birth and peace on earth; the angels sing always’
“My Soul Gives Glory to My God,” written by Dr. Miriam Therese Winter, paraphrases the “Magnificat,” Mary’s Song, as recorded in Luke 1: 46-55. For centuries, people thought that with the “Magnificat,” their leaders were bent on changing the status quo with a reversal of economic fortunes. They considered the “Magnificat” a dangerous hymn because it sings of promising food for the hungry, power for the powerless, and resource sharing. However, Dr. Winter notes. “It is a song of hope for times of disparity and for any situation in which we feel personally or systemically overwhelmed. It is just the song for a time such as this:”
‘My soul gives glory to my God; My heart pours out its praise. God lifted up my loneliness; In many marvelous ways.’
“Il est né, le Divin Enfant,” published for the first time in 1862 by R. Grosjean, a French organist, is a traditional French Christmas carol. The English translation is “He is born, the Heavenly Child.” The song describes Jesus’ birth as the prophets had foretold and the 4000 years wait for this happy event. It acknowledges Christ’s’ humble birth in a stable and calls on the Kings of the Orient to look after the Holy Child:
‘He is born, the Heavenly Child. Oboes play; set bagpipes sounding. He is born, the Heavenly Child, Let all sing His nativity.’
Click here to watch the PUMC worship service, listen to the beautiful music, the children’s time, the scripture readings, the sermon, the prayers, and the story sharing.