17 Dec 2023

Hymns on Sunday, 17 December 2023

From Hymns on Sunday, 4:15 am on 17 December 2023

Rejoice - it's Gaudete Sunday! Hymns for the Third Sunday in Advent include John Rutter's Angels' Carol, Rejoice! Rejoice at Christmas time by New Zealand hymn writer Bill Wallace, and Tell out, my soul, which is a paraphrase of the Magnificat.

Annunciation - A Mironov (2019)

Annunciation - A Mironov (2019) Photo: CC 4.0 / A Mironov


Artist: Choir of Wells Cathedral, Malcolm Archer (dir), Rupert Gough (organ)
Words/Music: Timothy Dudley-Smith/Michael Baughen
Recording: Hyperion 112105

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word;
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same;
his holy name the Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children's children and forevermore!


Artist: Musica Sacra, Indra Hughes (dir)
Words/Music: Anon/Anon harm Praetorius
Recording: Atoll ACD 207

[Translation by Henry Baker]

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Saviour,
When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.


Artist: Haydn and Handel Society, Harry Christophers (dir)
Words/Music: Philips Brooks/Richard Madden
Recording: Coro COR 16117

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel


Artist: Whanganui Schola Sacra, Mark Leicester (dir)
Words/Music: Forsman/Mews
Recording: Private CD 161

Lyrics not available


Artist: World Library Publications Choir
Words/Music: Bill Wallace/David L Sanders
Recording: WLP

Rejoice, rejoice at Christmas time,
All flesh is sacred now.
Embrace the manger in your heart
Beyond the why and how.
For God resides within that space
Of love and cosmic awe,
The home of singing, dancing love
Beyond life's mystic door.

Rejoice, rejoice at Christmas time,
All flesh reflects God's grace.
The realm that atoms dance within
Is nature's ballet space.
When we are one with baby's breath
And tender love's caress,
We find a Christmas manger in
Our deepest mind's recess.

Rejoice, rejoice at Christmas time,
Make space for starry eyes,
Discern how Jesus looked at life
With wonder and surprise;
For deeper than our harshest pain,
Beyond our muddled mind,
The gift of love in child-like form
Is our most precious find.


Artist: Hatea Kapa Haka, David Tapene (dir)
Words/Music: Anon/Kirkpatrick arr David Tapene Senior
Recording: Hatea Kapa Haka 2023

I te whare kūao Kore moenga e
Takoto ā Ihu Te Ariki nui
Tīramarama mai Te Whetū mura
Ki runga i-a Ihu E moe tonu nei.

Be near me, Lord Jesus I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever And love me, I pray
Bless all the dear children In Thy tender care
And take us to Heaven, To live with Thee there.


Artist: Christchurch Salvation Army Citadel Band
Words/Music: Anon/Trad
Recording: V&H 430036

The first Nowell the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,
in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night.


Artist: Graduate Choir, Terence Maskell (dir), Pene Pati (tenor solo) Philip Smith (organ)
Words/Music: Trad trans Ramsay/Trad arr Willcocks
Recording: Atoll ACD207

Whence is the goodly fragrance flowing,
Stealing our senses all away,
never the like did come a-blowing,
Shepherds, in flow'ry fields of May,
Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing,
Stealing our senses all away.

What is that light so brilliant, breaking
Here in the night across our eyes.
Never so bright, the day-star waking,
Started to climb the morning skies!
What is that light so brilliant, breaking,
Here in the night across our eyes.

Bethlehem! there in manger lying,
Find your Redeemer haste away,
Run ye with eager footsteps vieing!
Worship the Saviour born today.
Bethlehem! there in manger lying,
Find your Redeemer haste away.


Artist: Cambridge Singers, City of London Sinfonia, John Rutter (dir)
Words/Music: Rutter/Rutter
Recording: Collegium 880111

Lyrics not available


Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Hymns on Sunday

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)