So far in 2023, 13 million people from 200-plus countries around the world have benefitted from the Hymnary website! Thank you to all who use and all who support it with gifts of time, talent and treasure. If you feel moved to support our work today with a gift of any amount and a word of encouragement, we would be grateful. You can donate online at our secure giving site. Or, if you'd like to make a gift by check, please send it to:, Calvin University, 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. May the hope, love, joy and peace of Advent be yours this day and always.

Your donation:

The Incarnation

Representative Text

1 Hark! what mean those holy voices
Sweetly sounding thro' the skies?
Lo, th'angelic host rejoices,
Heav'nly hallelujahs rise.

2 Listen to the wondrous story
Which they chant in hymns of joy,
Glory in the highest, glory!
Glory be to God Most High!

3 Peace on earth, good will from heaven,
Reaching far as man is found;
Souls redeemed and sins forgiven!
Loud our golden harps shall sound.

4 Christ is born, the great Anointed!
Heav'n and earth, His praises sing!
Oh, receive whom God appointed
For your Prophet, Priest and King.

5 Hasten, mortals, to adore Him,
Learn His name and taste His joy,
Till in heaven ye sing before Him,
"Glory be to God most high!"

6 Let us learn the wondrous story
Of our great Redeemer’s birth;
Spread the brightness of His glory,
Till it cover all the earth.


Source: The Lutheran Hymnal #83

Author: John Cawood

John Cawood was born in 1775, at Matlock, Derbyshire, where his father carried on a small farm. He enjoyed very limited educational advantages. At the age of eighteen he occupied a menial position. But seeking every opportunity of self improvement, and aided by those who interested themselves in his behalf, he was enabled in 1797 to enter S. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and obtained his B.A. in 1801, and his M.A. in 1807. He was ordained in 1801, and most of his life in the ministry was spent as perpetual Curate of S. Ann's Chapel of Ease, Bewdley, Worcestershire. He died in 1852. He published several prose works, but no volume of hymns or poems. His son says, "My father composed about thirteen hymns, which have one by one got into print, th… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hark! what mean those holy voices
Title: The Incarnation
Author: John Cawood (1819)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Hark! what mean those holy voices. J. Cawood. [Christmas.] This popular hymn appeared in 1819 in the 8th edition of Cotterill's Selection, No. 269, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, with the refrain, "Hallelujah." In common with all the hymns in that Selection it was unsigned; but when republished by J. Montgomery in his Christian Psalmist, 1825, it was attributed to "Cawood." In some works, and collections, it is dated 1816; but in J. Cawood's son's correspondence with D. Sedgwick, it is undated [S. MSS.], and failing further information, it mutt remain as 1819. Of all Cawood's hymns this is the most popular. It is in extensive use in Great Britain and America. Original text in Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory, 1872, No. 205, with "glory sing" for "praises sing" in stanza iv., line 2.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 5 of 5)

An American Christmas Harp #9

Christmas Favorites #29

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #98

The Baptist Hymnal #109


The Cyber Hymnal #2169

Include 714 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us