Christmas hymns are one of my favourite aspects of the Advent season. “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” was written in 1739 by Charles Wesley, with later adaptations from George Whitefield. We’ve been singing this Christmas hymn for nearly 300 years. Meanwhile, much of the contemporary worship music written today is forgotten within a few years. Say what you like about old, musty hymns, but they certainly have staying power. There’s a timelessness about classic hymnody that has the potential to ground us in the timeless truths of our faith. For instance, look how theologically rich these lyrics are. No one writes church music like this anymore.
“Christ by highest heav’n adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.”