The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

How Shall I Meet Thee? How My Heart

Third Sunday In Advent: Christ The Deliverer

Words: "Wie Soll Ich Dich Empfangen?", Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676), 1653.
Trans. By Catherine Winkworth, From Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year 1855
See: The Christmas Poetry of Catherine Winkworth
Text: Matthew 21: 1-9

Music: Valet will ich dir geben, by Melchior Teschner, 1613
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
Wie Soll Ich Dich Empfangen, Johann Cruger
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / Sheet Music / XML
This tune was written by Johann Crüger for this text and appeared with the hymn in its first publication in the Crüger-Runge Gesangbuch, Berlin, in 1653.
Meter: 86 86

And it shall be said in that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him,
and He will save us: this is the Lord;
we have waited for Him,
we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.
Is. 25:9

1. How shall I meet Thee? How my heart
Receive her Lord aright?
Desire of all the earth Thou art!
My hope, my sole delight!

2. Kindle the Lamp, Thou Lord, alone,
Half-dying in my breast,
And make thy gracious pleasure known
How I may greet Thee best.

3. Her budding boughs and fairest palms
Thy Zion strews around;
And songs of praise and sweetest psalms
From my glad heart shall sound.

4. My desert soul breaks forth in flowers,
Rejoicing in Thy fame;
And puts forth all her sleeping powers,
To honour Jesus' name.

5. In heavy bonds I languished long,
Thou com'st to set me free;
The scorn of every mocking tongue--
Thou com'st to honour me.

6. A heavenly crown wilt Thou bestow,
And gifts of priceless worth,
That vanish not as here below,
The fading wealth of earth.

7. Nought, nought, dear Lord, had power to move
Thee from Thy rightful place,
Save that most strange and blessed Love
Wherewith Thou dost embrace

8. This weary world and all her woe,
Her load of grief and ill
And sorrow, more than man can know;--
Thy love is deeper still.

9. Oh write this promise in your hearts,
Ye sorrowful, on whom
Fall thickening cares, while joy departs
And darker grows your gloom.

10. Despair not, for your help is near,
He standeth at the door
Who best can comfort you and cheer,
He comes, nor stayeth more.

11. Nor vex your souls with care, nor grieve
And labour longer thus,
As though your arm could ought achieve,
And bring Him down to us.

12. He comes, He comes with ready will,
By pity moved alone,
To soothe our every grief and ill,
For all to Him is known.

13. Nor ye, O sinners, shrink aside,
Afraid to see His face,
Your darkest sins our Lord will hide
Beneath His pitying grace.

14. He comes, He comes to save from sin,
And all its pangs assuage,
And for the sons of God to win
Their proper heritage.

15. Why heed ye then the craft and noise,
The fury of His foes?
Lo, in a breath the Lord destroys
All who His rule oppose.

16. He comes, He comes, as King to reign!
All earthly powers may band
Against Him, yet they strive in vain,
His might may none withstand.

17. He comes to judge the earth, and ye
Who mocked Him, feel His wrath;
But they who loved and sought Him see
His light o'er all their path.

18. O Sun of Righteousness! arise,
And guide us on our way
To yon fair mansion in the skies
Of joyous cloudless day.

Editor's Note:


The text from the 2000 service of Nine Lessons and Carols:

How shall I fitly meet Thee,
And give Thee welcome due?
The nations long to greet Thee,
And I would greet Thee too.
O Fount of light, shine brightly
Upon my darken'd heart;
That I may serve Thee rightly,
And know Thee as Thou art.

Music, J. S. BACH
from Christmas Oratorio

See: Nine Lessons And Carols 2000.

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