1 The King shall come when morning dawns
and light triumphant breaks,
when beauty gilds the eastern hills
and life to joy awakes
2 not, as of old, a little child,
to bear and fight and die,
but crowned with glory like the sun
that lights the morning sky.
3 Oh, brighter than the rising morn
when Christ, victorious, rose
and left the lonesome place of death,
despite the rage of foes–
4 oh, brighter than that glorious morn
shall dawn upon our race
the day when Christ in splendor comes
and we shall see his face.
5 The King shall come when morning dawns
and light and beauty brings.
Hail, Christ the Lord! Your people pray:
come quickly, King of kings.
Infused with the imagery of morning light typical of early Greek hymnody, this Advent text stirs hope in the hearts of all who look forward to the return of Christ. “The King Shall Come” is a confession of faith in the sure return of our Lord; his coming again will occur in a blaze of glory, which will far surpass his earthly death and resurrection. The text concludes with a paraphrase of the ancient prayer of the church-"Maranatha," or "Lord, come quickly" (Rev. 22:20).
Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12, Question and Answer 31 is a reminder that Christ promised to return and will do so as King. He has ascended to heaven “to show there that he is the head of his church, the one through whom the Father rules all things.” He was anointed as “our eternal king who governs us by his Word and Spirit, and who guards us and keeps us in the freedom he has won for us.”