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Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding

Representative Text

1 Hark! A thrilling voice is sounding!
"Christ is near," we hear it say.
"Cast away the works of darkness,
all you children of the day!"

2 See, the Lamb, so long expected,
comes with pardon down from heav'n.
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
one and all, to be forgiv'n;

3 So, when next he comes in glory
and the world is wrapped in fear,
he will shield us with his mercy
and with words of love draw near.

4 Honor, glory, might, dominion
to the Father and the Son
with the everlasting Spirit
while eternal ages run!

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #318

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…

Go to tune page >



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The Cyber Hymnal #2639
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Instances (1 - 28 of 28)

Ancient and Modern #38

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #286

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Christian Worship #15

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Christian Worship #318

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #126


Common Praise (1998) #108

Page Scan

Common Praise #26

TextPage Scan

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #263

TextPage Scan

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #96


Evangelical Lutheran Worship #246


Hymnal Supplement 1991 #725

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #24


Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #192

Hymns Old and New #196

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Lift Up Your Hearts #478

TextPage Scan

Lutheran Service Book #345


Lutheran Worship #18

Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #332

Sing Glory #436

The Book of Common Praise of the Reformed Episcopal Church #19

The Book of Praise #116

The Covenant Hymnal #129


The Cyber Hymnal #2639


The Hymnal 1982 #59


The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #647

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The New English Hymnal #5


Together in Song #264

ကီရ်ပိှသီ [The Church Hymnal With Notes Sagaw Kayin] #1

Include 84 pre-1979 instances
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