Music for Advent

Phos Hilaran/ O Joyous Light

2020 Advent Hymn
Hail Gladdening Light, Of His pure glory poured
Who is the Immortal Father, Heavenly Blest
Holy of Holies, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now we are come to the sun’s hour of rest
The lights of evening ‘round us shine
We hymn the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Divine
Worthiest art Thou, at all times to be sung
with undefiled tongue
Son of our God, Giver of life alone
Therefore, in all the world Thy Glories Lord…Thine own.
What were the disciples of Jesus singing 1,700 years ago?  Do you know that we can sing one of their songs?  It’s true!  I want to pass along a glorious story of a song that has stood the test of time.  Through listening, speaking and singing it ourselves, we can live into the reality that we are “connected” to the people of Jesus who have gone before us.  We can know that Jesus is the “gladdening light” that brings us joy!

The “Phos Hilarion” is an ancient song of the Church that dates from the late 3rd century.  St. Basil (329-379) spoke of the singing of the “Phos Hilaron” as a cherished tradition that was “old” in his day.  Originally written in the same style of Greek as the New Testament, it was known as the “Lamp-Lighting Hymn.”  It is said that in 3rd century Jerusalem a lamp was kept burning in the empty tomb of Jesus.  Its glow served as a sign of the living light of Jesus.  As the Church gathered to worship, the hymn was sung.  At the same time, a candle lit from the lamp was brought forth from the tomb. Its bright flame called the church to celebrate the Risen Lord.
- Pastor John
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