November 18, 2012

Songs of Praise the Angels Sang

Heaven with Alleluias Rang

Songs of Praise the Angels Sang, first published in 1819 was written by James Montgomery (1771-1854). He wrote as much as 400 hymns, many of them based on the Psalms. He was also known for his dedication to the abolition of slavery and child labour practices. The version printed in the Divine Office is an adaptation by Anthony G. Petti (1932-1985). It is set to the tune: Lauds by John Wilson. It is the same melody used for the Brian Wren hymn sung in the video below: There's a Spirit in the Air. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Songs of Praise the Angels Sang is used during Christmas.

SONGS OF PRAISE THE ANGELS SANG by James Montgomery, 1819 (Public Domain)

1. Songs of praise the angels sang,
heaven with alleluias rang,
when creation was begun,
when God spoke and it was done.

2. Songs of praise awoke the morn
when the Prince of Peace was born;
songs of praise arose when he
captive led captivity.

3. Heaven and earth must pass away;
songs of praise shall crown that day;
God will make new heavens and earth;
songs of praise shall hail their birth.

4. And will man alone be dumb
till that glorious kingdom come?
No; the Church delights to raise
psalms and hymns and songs of praise.

5. Saints below, with heart and voice,
still in songs of praise rejoice,
learning here, by faith and love,
songs of praise to sing above.

6. Borne upon their latest breath,
songs of praise shall conquer death;
then, amidst eternal joy,
songs of praise their powers employ.

7. Hymns of glory, songs of praise,
Father, unto thee we raise,
Jesus, glory unto thee,
with the Spirit, ever be.

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