Today we are reminded -by the two following Advent hymns- that although Christ has come, He will come again!
Hallelujah and Amen!
Wake, awake, for night is flying;
The watchmen on the heights are crying:
Awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Midnight hears the welcome voices
And at the thrilling cry rejoices;
Come forth, ye virgins, night is past;
The Bridegroom comes, awake;
Your lamps with gladness take;
Alleluia! And for His marriage feast prepare
For ye must go and meet Him there.
Zion hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing;
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Lord comes down all glorious,
The strong in grace, in truth victorious.
Her Star is risen, her Light is come.
Ah come, Thou blessèd One, God’s own belovèd Son:
Alleluia! We follow till the halls we see
Where Thou hast bid us sup with Thee.
Now let all the heavens adore Thee,
And saints and angels sing before Thee,
With harp and cymbal’s clearest tone;
Of one pearl each shining portal,
Where we are with the choir immortal
Of angels round Thy dazzling throne;
Nor eye hath seen, nor ear hath yet attained to hear
What there is ours, but we rejoice and sing to Thee
Our hymn of joy eternally.
~ Philipp Nicolai (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme). The words may have been inspired by a 1523 poem by Nuremberg’s Meistersinger Lutheran poet Hans Sachs (1494-1576); they were first published in Nicolai’s Freudenspiegel des ewigen Lebens (Joyous Mirror of Eternal Life), 1599. Catherine Winkworth translated the lyrics from German to English in her Lyra Germanica, second series, 1858.
Behold the Bridegroom cometh in
The middle of the night,
And blest is he whose loins are girt,
Whose lamp is burning bright;
But woe to that dull servant, whom
The Master shall surprise
With lamp untrimmed, unburning and
With slumber in his eyes.
Do thou, my soul, beware, beware,
Lest thou in sleep sink down,
Lest thou be given o’er to death,
And lose the golden crown;
But see that thou be sober, with
A watchful eye, and thus
Cry—‘Holy, holy, holy God,
Have mercy upon us.’
That day, the day of fear, shall come;
My soul, slack not thy toil,
But light thy lamp, and feed it well,
And make it bright with oil;
Who knowest not how soon may sound
The cry at eventide,
‘Behold the Bridegroom comes! Arise!
Go forth to meet the bride.’
Beware, my soul; beware, beware,
Lest thou in slumber lie,
And like, the five, remain without,
And knock, and vainly cry;
But watch, and bear thy lamp undimmed,
And Christ shall gird thee on
His own bright wedding robe of light—
The glory of the Son.
~Horlogion (Ιδοὺ ο Νύμφις έρχεται), circa 8th Century; translated from Greek to English by Gerard Moultrie in Lyra Messianica, 1864.