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Angels We Have Heard On High | Lyrics

from the MMF Songbook



History

In A.D. 129, Telesphous, Bishop of Rome, ordained that, "In the Holy Night of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, all shall solemnly sing the 'Angel's Hymn.' " With that proclamation the 'Angels Hymn' became the first Christmas hymn of the Christian church. Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick, and its most memorable feature is its chorus Gloria in Excelsis Deo!, which is Latin for Glory to God in the Highest.

Lyrics

Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be,
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!


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