The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Wake, O Wake! With Tidings Thrilling

For Advent

Words: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, Philipp Nicolai, 1599
Tr. Francis Crawford Burkitt, 1906

Inspired by the Parable of the Ten Virgins: Matthew 25: 1-13
Includes notes and a listing of some of the many hymns and carols inspired by this Parable.

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

"Wachet Auf!"
Philipp Nicolai
Adapted and Harmonized by J. S. Bach
Source: The English Hymnal, 1906
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
Meter: Irr.

1. Wake, o wake! with tidings thrilling
    The watchmen all the air are filling,
        Arise, Jerusalem, arise!
Midnight strikes! no more delaying,
"The hour has come!" we hear them saying.
            Where are ye all, ye virgins wise?
                The Bridegroom comes in sight,
                Raise high your torches bright!
                The wedding song
                Swells long and strong:
            Go forth and join the festal throng.

2. Zion hears the watchmen shouting,
    Her heart leaps with joy undoubting,
        She stands and waits with eager eyes;
See her Friend from heaven descending,
Adorned with truth and grace unending!
            Her light burns clear, her star doth rise.
                Now come, thou precious Crown,
                Lord Jesus, God's own Son!
                Let us prepare
                To follow there,
            Where in thy supper we may share.

3. Every soul in thee rejoices;
    From men and angelic voices
        Be glory given to thee alone!
Now the gates of pearl receive us,
Thy presence never more shall leave us,
            We stand with angels round thy throne.
                Earth cannot give below
                The bliss thou dost bestow.
                Grant us to raise
                To length of days,
            The triumph-chorus of thy praise.

Sheet Music From A Festival Service of Nine Lessons And Appropriate Music. London: Oxford University Press, 1934.

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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