The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Slumberers, Wake, The Bridegroom Cometh!

For Advent

Words: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608), 1599
Translator: The Rev. J. H. Hopkins (1820-1891)

Music: "Nach," Hans Sachs (1494-1576),
adapted by Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608)
arr. and harm. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML
Meter: Irr.

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), #32, pp. 46-47.

1. Slumberers, wake, the Bridegroom cometh!
Awake, behold the Bridegroom cometh!
    Ye Virgins, wake, to sleep no more.
Midnight hears the shouting voices,
And at the thrilling cry rejoices;
    Your lamps now trim, so bright of yore.
        Th' advancing train draws nigh;
        Lights flash, and bridemen cry:
            Alleluia:
        Sing ye also,
            Alleluia;
        And forth to meet the Bridegroom go!

2. Zion hears the exultant singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing,
    She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Spouse comes down all-glorious,
The Strong in Grace, in Truth Victorious,
    Her Star is risen, her Light is come!
        Haste then, ye Virgins fair,
        His marriage-feast to share,
            Alleluia:
        Ye too shall sing
            Alleluia,
        As we go forth to meet your King.

3. Lamb of God! The heavens adore Thee,
And men and angels sing before Thee,
    With harp and cymbals' clearest tone.
Of one pearl each open portal,
Where we are with the choirs immortal,
    That stand around the great white Throne.
        Ten thousand thousand tongues
        There pour triumphal songs
            Alleluia:
        Chanting their hymn,
            Alleluia,
        With Cherubim and Seraphim.

4. Lo! the Bride, fair as the morning,
The royal crown her brow adorning, —
    With fine wrought gold her bright robes shine.
On her breast are jewels gleaming;
In sevenfold light her beauty beaming
    Bids welcome to her Spouse divine.
        Round Him, in raiment white,
        Sing all the saints in light,
            Alleluia:
        On that blest shore
            Alleluia
        Rolls evermore and evermore. Amen.

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), #32, pp. 46-47.

"Jacob Prætorius, 1604
Harmonized mainly from
F. Layriz"

Note: The text on which it is based is the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 1 13, and other scriptural passages. For a list of translations, see "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme."

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