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Hark, the hosts of heaven are singing

Hark, the hosts of heaven are singing

Author: E. H. Plumptre
Tune: ST. OSWALD (Dykes 53617)
Published in 13 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 Hark, the hosts of heav’n are singing
Praises to their new-born Lord,
Strains of sweetest music flinging,
Not a note or word unheard.

2 On this night, all nights excelling,
God’s high praises sounded forth,
As their lowly flocks they tended,
Came new tidings from the skies.

3 All the hosts of heaven are chanting
Songs with power to stir and thrill,
And the universe is panting
Joy’s deep longings to fulfill.

4 On this day then through creation
Let the glorious hymn ring out;
Let men hail the great salvation,
“God with us,” with song and shout.

Source: Gloria Deo: a Collection of Hymns and Tunes for Public Worship in all Departments of the Church #130

Author: E. H. Plumptre

Plumptre, Edward Hayes, D.D., son of Mr. E. H. Plumptre, was born in London, Aug. 6, 1821, and educated at King's College, London, and University College, Oxford, graduating as a double first in 1844. He was for some time Fellow of Brasenose. On taking Holy Orders in 1846 he rapidly attained to a foremost position as a Theologian and Preacher. His appointments have been important and influential, and include that of Assistant Preacher at Lincoln's Inn; Select Preacher at Oxford; Professor of Pastoral Theology at King's College, London; Dean of Queen's, Oxford; Prebendary in St. Paul's Cathedral, London; Professor of Exegesis of the New Testament in King's College, London; Boyle Lecturer; Grinfield Lecturer on the Septuagint, Oxford; Examine… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hark, the hosts of heaven are singing
Author: E. H. Plumptre


Nato canunt omnia. [Christmas.] This sequence is found in the Bodleian manuscript, No. 775, written about the year 1000 (f. 139 b); in an 11th century Winchester Sequentiary, now at Corpus Christi, Cambridge (ms. No. 473); an 11th century manuscript at Munich (Lat. 14083, f. 7), &c. In the Sarum, Hereford and York Missals it is placed in the Midnight Mass ("Missa in Gallicantu") of Christmas Day. The printed text is also found in Daniel ii. p. 56, and Kehrein, No. 9. Clichtovaeus represents it as describing the joy of Christmas, announced by the angel to the shepherds, and sung by the angelic choir; and as inviting the whole human race to rejoice in God made Man. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
Translations in common use:—
1, Hark, the hosts of heaven are singing. By E. H. Plumptre, made for and first published in the Hymnary, 1872. Also in a few American collections.

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



The Cyber Hymnal #10258
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)