Here is the third hymn in my hymn-per-day Advent series.
Today's hymn is based on the well-known text by Charles Wesley (1707-1788).
To American listeners the tune may be something of a surprise, as it is almost always sung to the tune "Stuttgart".
In England, John Stainer's (1840-1901) fine tune "Cross of Jesus" is usually the melody used. The tune takes its name from Stainer's famous oratorio, "The Crucifixion", where it is sung to the words, "Cross of Jesus, Cross of sorrow".
Stainer, who was organist of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, was a very infuential figure in his day. Though his works are rarely performed now, he was a fine composer, and left some true classics of English cathedral music, such as the "Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in B-flat," the heart-moving "Lead kindly, light", and the electrifying anthem for Trinity Sunday, "I saw the Lord", composed when he was only 18.
The problem with Stainer was the he simply wrote too much music...
This performance is in the traditional "cathedral-style."
More hymns and more variety in style, organ, and performances are on the way!
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free,
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art,
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a king,
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit,
Rule in all our hears alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.