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While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Luke 2:8

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
And glory shone around.

Fear not, said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.
To you and all mankind.

To you, in David’s town this day,
Is born of David’s line
The Savior who is Christ the Lord,
And this shall be the sign
And this shall be the sign

The heav’nly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
And in a manger laid.
And in a manger laid.

All glory be to God on high
And on the earth be peace.
Goodwill henceforth from heav’n to men
Begin and never cease.
Begin and never cease.

Text: Nahum Tate, 1652–1715
Music: George Frederick Handel (1815)
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Marge McCoy

The attached audio includes four verses but we included the lyrics for all five verses of the hymn.

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Joy to the World

Joy to the World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and heav’n, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Hymn: Isaac Watts (1719)
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Bob McCoy

Prepare the Way

Prepare the Way

Prepare the way, O Zion, your Christ is drawing near!
Let every hill and valley a level way appear.
Greet One who comes in glory, foretold in sacred story.
Oh, blest is Christ that came in God’s most holy name.

He brings God’s rule, O Zion; he comes from heaven above.
His rule is peace and freedom, and justice, truth, and love.
Lift high your praise resounding, for grace and joy abounding.
Oh, blest is Christ that came in God’s most holy name.

Fling wide your gates, O Zion; your Savior’s rule embrace.
His tidings of salvation proclaim in every place.
All lands will bow before him, their voices will adore him.
Oh, blest is Christ that came in God’s most holy name.

Words: Frans Mikael Franzen (1772-1847); tr. Composite; adapt. Charles P. Price (b. 1920)
Music: Bereden väg för Herran, melody from Then Swenska Psalmboken, 1697; harm. Koralbok för Svenska Kyrkan, 1939, alt.

Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Bob McCoy

Thankful People

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come,

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come,
Raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
Fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto joy or sorrow grown;
First the blade, and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear:
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
And shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day
All offenses purge away;
Give His angels charge at last
In the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store
In His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
Bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come,
Raise the glorious harvest home.

Henry Alford, pub.1844
Audio: Stephen SOllars
Photo: Marge McCoy

My Country ‘Tis of Thee


My Country ‘Tis of Thee

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills.
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!

Text: Samuel F. Smith, 1808-1895
Music: Thesaurus Musicus, London, 1744
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Bob McCoy

Praise Him! Praise Him!

While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Psalm 146:2

Praise Him! Praise Him!

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy Name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long.

Refrain:
Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness;
Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died.
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever;
Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!
Christ is coming! over the world victorious,
Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong.

Words: Frances J. Crosby, pub.1869
Music: Chester G. Allen, pub.1869
Photo: Marge McCoy

The Longer I Serve Him

The Longer I Serve Him

Since I started for the Kingdom,
Since my life He controls,
Since I gave my heart to Jesus,
The longer I serve Him,
The sweeter He grows.

Chorus
The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows,
The more that I love Him, more love He bestows;
Each day is like heaven, my heart overflows,
The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.

Ev’ry need He is supplying,
Plenteous grace He bestows;
Ev’ry day my way gets brighter,
The longer I serve Him,
The sweeter He grows.

Chorus
The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows,
The more that I love Him, more love He bestows;
Each day is like heaven, my heart overflows,
The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.

Text and Music: William J. Gaither
Audio: Stephen Sollars
Photo: Bob McCoy