All My Heart This Night Rejoices

Full Text

1 All my heart again rejoices
As I hear
Far and near
Sweetest angel voices.
"Christ is born!" their choirs are singing
Till the air
Now with joy is ringing.

2 Hear! The Conqueror has spoken:
"Now the foe,
Sin and woe,
Death and hell are broken!"
God is man, man to deliver,
And the Son
Now is one
With our blood forever.

3 Should we fear our God's displeasure,
Who to save,
Freely gave
His most precious treasure?
To redeem us He has given
His own Son
From the throne
Of His might in heaven.

4 See the lamb, our sin once taking
To the cross,
Suff'ring loss,
Full atonement making.
For our life His own He tenders,
And His grace
All our race
Fit for glory renders.

5 Softly from His lowly manger
Jesus calls
One and all,
"You are safe from danger.
Children, from the sins that grieve you
You are freed;
All you need
I will surely give you."

6 Come, then, banish all your sadness!
One and all,
Great and small,
Come with songs of gladness.
We shall live with Him forever
There on high
In that joy
Which will vanish never.

Source: Lutheran Service Book #360

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… Go to person page >


Fröhlich soll mein herze springen. P. Gerhardt. [Christmas.] Included as No. 104 in the Frankfurt edition 1656, of Crüger's Praxis pietatis melica in 15 stanzas of 8 lines, reprinted in Wackernagel’s edition of his Geistliche Lieder, No. 5, and Bachmann's edition, No. 44; and included as No. 35 in the Unverfälscher Liedersegen, 1851. Lauxmann, in Koch, viii. 26, thus analyses it:

First a trumpet blast: Christ is born, God's Champion has appeared as a Bridegroom from his chamber (i., ii.). In the following 4 stanzas the poet seeks to set forth the mighty value of the Incarnation: is it not love when God gives us the Son of His Love (iii.), the Kingdom of Joy (iv.), and His Fellowship (v.). Yes, it is indeed the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world (vi.) Now he places himself as herald by the cradle of the Divine Child (vii.). He bids, as in Matt. xi. 28, all men (viii.), all they that labour (ix.), all the heavy laden (x.), and all the poor (xi.), to draw near. Then in conclusion he approaches in supplication as the shepherds and the Wise Men (xii.-xv.). He adores the Child as his source of life (xii.), his Lamb of God (xiii.), his Glory (xiv.), and promises to be ever true to Him (xv.). It is a glorious series of Christmas thoughts, laid as a garland on the manger at Bethlehem.

He adds that at the second day of the Christmas celebration, 1715, at Glaucha, near Halle, C. H. v. Bogatzky (q.v.), by the singing of stanzas xiii., xiv., was first clearly led to un¬derstand justification by faith in Jesus Christ.
Translations in common use:--
1. Let the voice of glad thanksgiving. A good translation of stanzas i.-iii., vi.-ix., by A. T. Russell, as No. 15 in the Dalston Hospital Hymn Book, 1848, and repeated, omitting the translations of stanzas vi.-viii. as No. 56 in his own Psalms & Hymns. 1851.
2. All my heart this night rejoices. A beautiful but rather free translation omitting stanzas iii.-v., xiii., xiv. by Miss Winkworth in the 2nd series of her Lyra Germanica 1858, p. 13, repeated in full in Brown-Borthwick's Supplemental Hymn &Tune Book, 1867, and omitting the translation of stanza vi. in J. L. Porter's Collection 1876. In Miss Winkworth's Chorale Book for England, 1863, No 31, the translations of stanzas ii., vi., xii. are omitted. The more important centos are the translations of stanzas i., ii., vii., viii. in Church Hymns, 1871, Allon's Supplemental Hymns, &c.; and the translations of i., vii.-ix., xii., xv. in the Supplement of 1880 to the Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858; and in America in the Dutch Reformed Hymns of the Church, 1869, the Hymns and Songs of Praise, N. Y., 1874, &c. Other centos are in the New Zealand Hymnal, 1872, the Evangelical Hymnal N. Y., 1880, the Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book, 1883, and Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884.
3. All my heart with joy is springing. A good but free translation by Dr. Kennedy, as No. 100 in his Hymnologia Christiana, 1863, omitting stanzas iii.-v., ix., xiii., xiv. His translations of stanzas i., ii., vi., vii. were repeated in the Anglican Hymn Book, 1871.
4. Lightly bound my bosom, ringing. In full, by Dr. M. Loy, in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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