The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Mighty Gates of Earth Unbar

For Advent
"Macht hoch die Thür, die Thore weit"

Words: Macht hoch die Tuer, 1642, Georg Weissel (1590-1635), ca. 1630
Translation: "Altered from Mercer's Psalter and Hymn Book"

Compare: Lift Up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates - Version 1 (Catherine Winkworth)
Lift Up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates - Version 2 (Catherine Winkworth)

Make Broad The Path (George Ratcliffe Woodward)
Lift Up Your Heads Ye Gates of Brass (James Montgomery)

Music: "Proper Melody (by Joh. Cruger?) first published in 1666
Harmonized by Dr. Frederick Layriz."

Source: J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #44, pp. 70-1.

1. The mighty gates of earth unbar,
For lo! one cometh from afar!
The King of kings is drawing near,
The Saviour of the world is here!
Life, health, salvation He doth bring,
Lift up your voice, with triumph sing,
We praise Thee, Father, now,
Creator, wise art Thou!

2. The Lord is just, a helper tried,
On wings of mercy loves to ride;
His kingly crown is holiness,
His sceptre pity, swift to bless:
The end of all our woes He brings,
Wherefore the earth with triumph sings,
We praise Thee, Saviour, now,
Mighty in deed art Thou!

3. Oh, blest the city, blest the land
Who yield them to this King's command!
Oh, blest the hearts set free from sin,
To whom this Monarch enters in!
The Sun of Joy is He, who brings
The light of healing on His wings;
O Comforter Divine,
What boundless grace is Thine!

4. Unbar the gates, make plain His way,
In godliness your souls array;
A temple in your hearts prepare,
Adorned with love, and joy, and prayer;
So shall your Sovereign enter in,
And richest blessings with Him bring:
To Thee, O God, be praise,
For word, and deed, and grace!

5. Come, O my Saviour, Christ, to me,
I open wide my heart to Thee:
Oh! enter in Thy mercy here,
In gentlest love to me appear;
Thy Spirit guide and lead us on
Until we reach Thy glorious throne:
Eternal praise and fame
We offer to Thy Name.

Sheet Music from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #44, pp. 70-1.

Note:

The first verse of this song has themes similar to those found in Psalm 24:

7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; 
       be lifted up, you ancient doors, 
       that the King of glory may come in.

 8 Who is this King of glory? 
       The LORD strong and mighty, 
       the LORD mighty in battle.

 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; 
       lift them up, you ancient doors, 
       that the King of glory may come in.

 10 Who is he, this King of glory? 
       The LORD Almighty— 
       he is the King of glory. 

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