Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding

Full Text

1 Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding;
"Christ is nigh," it seems to say;
"Cast away the works of darkness
O ye children of the day!"

2 Wakened by the solemn warning,
Let the earth-bound soul arise;
Christ, her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
Shines upon the morning skies.

3 Lo! the Lamb, so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from heaven;
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiven;

4 So when next He comes in glory,
Wrapping all the world in fear,
May He with His mercy shield us,
And with words of love draw near.


The Hymnal: revised and enlarged as adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America in the year of our Lord 1892

Translator: Edward Caswall

Edward Caswall was born in 1814, at Yately, in Hampshire, where his father was a clergyman. In 1832, he went to Brasenose College, Oxford, and in 1836, took a second-class in classics. His humorous work, "The Art of Pluck," was published in 1835; it is still selling at Oxford, having passed through many editions. In 1838, he was ordained Deacon, and in 1839, Priest. He became perpetural Curate of Stratford-sub-Castle in 1840. In 1841, he resigned his incumbency and visited Ireland. In 1847, he joined the Church of Rome. In 1850, he was admitted into the Congregation of the Oratory at Birmingham, where he has since remained. He has published several works in prose and poetry. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Rom. 13:11-12
st. 2 = 2 Pet. 1:19
st. 3 = John 1:29
st. 4 = Luke 21:25-28
st. 5 = Rev. 5:13

Although earliest manuscript copy dates from the tenth century, this text is possibly as old as the fifth century. It is based on the Latin hymn 'Vox clara ecce intonat" and its 1632 revision "En clara vox redarguit." The text in the Psalter
is a revision of both Edward Caswall's (PHH 438) translation in his Lyra Catholica (1849) and the translation in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861).

The hymn is most useful for Advent because it permits various interpretations of Christ's coming. Stanzas 1-3 contain references to Christ's first coming, but they can be used to celebrate his second coming as well. Stanza 4 surely refers to the second coming, and stanza 5, the only stanza addressed to God, is a doxology.

Liturgical Use:
During Advent for worship services that stress Christ's second coming; use stanza 5 as an Advent doxology.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



William H. Monk (b. Brompton, London, England, 1823; d. London, 1889) composed MERTON and published it in The Parish Choir (1850). The tune has been associated with this text since the 1861 edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern. The tune's title is thought to refer to Walter de Merton, founder of Mert…

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The Cyber Hymnal #2639
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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #332
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Instances (1 - 24 of 24)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #38Text
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #286
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #15TextPage Scan
Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #126
Common Praise (1998) #108Text
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #26Page Scan
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #263TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #96TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #246TextAudio
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #59Text
Hymnal Supplement 1991 #725Text
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #24
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #192Text
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #196
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #478TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Lutheran Service Book #345TextPage Scan
Lutheran Worship #18Text
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #332Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #436
Small Church Music #1259Audio
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #129
The Cyber Hymnal #2639TextScoreAudio
The New English Hymnal #5TextPage Scan
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #264
Include 75 pre-1979 instances