Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Something for a Christmas Weekend.  Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Written by Charles Wesley in 1739, the hymn we enjoy today developed and changed over a century with input from many hands.  No hymn I think better exemplifies the sheer joy that the coming of Christ should awake in the hearts of all Christians.

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King;

Peace on earth and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled:

Joyful all ye nations rise,

Join the triumph of the skies,

With the angelic host proclaim,

Christ is born in Bethlehem:

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King.

Christ, by highest heaven adored,

Christ, the everlasting Lord,

Late in time behold him come,

Offspring of a virgin’s womb!

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,

Hail the incarnate Deity!

Pleased as man with men to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel:

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King.

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

Risen with healing in his wings;

Mild, he lays his glory by,

Born that man no more may die,

Born to raise the sons of earth,

Born to give them second birth:

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. The rendition of Hark the Hearld Angels Sing sung by Philip Frost, playing Tiny Tim in the 1935 SCROOGE, is our favorite. Scrooge is played by Seymour Hicks.

    We will be singing this classic, as well as others, in front of an empty manger at Planned Parenthood come Wednesday the 28th. Pro-Life Action League started this tradition and we hope it catches on. No room in the womb must come to an end. Our presence and prayers will win the day, with God’s help of course.

    Peace on earth…For all..Born and unborn.
    Peace to you and yours TAC.

  2. Dear Phillip-You and all those with you will be in my prayers on the 28th; and then from now on at daily Mass. Just your presence, standing there silent, can save a baby. [see below] Merry CHRISTmas and God bless us, everyone. Guy

    Sidewalk Counselors: Your Work Won’t Go Unrewarded
    New Oxford Review April 2012

    What a fine guest column Edmund B. Miller has written about the generous and amazing work done by prayer warriors and sidewalk counselors outside abortion businesses (“Abortion & The Creed of Progress,” Jan.-Feb.). He admits that “discouragement comes swiftly and heavily. Often I wonder why I should and do continue.” Anyone who has stood and prayed outside an abortion business can echo these feelings; but the unseen effects of these prayers, of this witness, are far beyond what can be imagined.

    Last fall a group of us were praying outside the last abortion business (of four) in Corpus Christi, Texas, when a car drove up and screeched to a sudden stop right by us. When this happens one usually expects the worst. But this time a man got out and approached us, weeping. “You have no idea of the good you do here,” he said to us. “Thirteen years ago my pregnant girlfriend and I drove up here and you all were praying here. This was for her scheduled abortion. We went inside and we felt the evil. I thought about you all on the outside praying. We left. And now, because of you, she is my wife and, because of you, we have beautiful twin teenage daughters. Never stop this, keep praying here.”

    All of us who were there that day 13 years ago probably felt the “discouragement that comes swiftly and heavily.” But our prayers touched this man and his girlfriend and changed the course of human history. This is why those who stand and pray “should and do continue.”

    Another time we prayed most of the day outside a Planned Parenthood abortion business in Bryan/College-Station, Texas, as 17 girls and women went in for abortions, with no “saves.” Once the “business” day was over late in the afternoon, we went to a local restaurant, depressed and gloomy. While we were there, a woman came up to us and asked if we were “the people praying at the Planned Parenthood clinic.” We told her we were, and she said, “Thank you, I saw you praying and because of you I did not go in for the abortion.” This is reason enough to continue, because even if we do not know about it, a baby might be saved because of our prayers.

    I firmly believe that when anyone who stands and prays outside an abortion business, anyone who engages in sidewalk counseling, anyone who is a conduit for God’s love to these girls and women, gets to the pearly gates and St. Peter is studying the book and checking the commandments against what the person has done, there is going to be a crowd of little children telling St. Peter, perhaps impatiently, “This is our friend. She [or he] is why you call your book the ‘Book of Life.’ You have to let her come in here with us.”

    Mr. Miller is correct when he says that those who pray and those who counsel have “not been paid to do this.” This is true, in the practical sense. But in the spiritual sense, what one gives away is what one takes to Heaven; and those who do this give God’s love, and they take with them to Heaven the embodiment of that love in the saved children and the saved mothers, fathers, and families, and the love in each caress and kiss those mothers give to their babies.

    Guy McClung
    Rockport, Texas

  3. @ Guy McClung

    You’ve given us a Christmas gift that brought about tears. Thank you so much for your testimony. We see the negitive response so often, and the positive ones are quite rare. I will read your post to our group Wednesday.

    We are not about the tally. The gratification that comes in the form of immediate positive results, rather we hold fast to the knowledge that God germinates the seed. We are all asked to be witnesses “to the end of time.”
    This is our time. Our brief moment on planet Earth.

    I give thanks to God for awakening my soul to these truths. It wasn’t always awake. For years I had cast it into a deep coma, self induced, but praise be to God that He will see to the completion of His work in my life.
    “God, How great are YOUR works!”

    Merry Christmas Guy McClung.

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