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Eleventh Hymn of Christmas: Christians, Awake!

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series

"12 Hymns of Christmas"

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A lesser known Christmas hymn, “Christians, Awake!” retells the Luke 2 story in a powerful and vivid way. Medical doctor John Byrom wrote this text in 1749 simply as a devotional poem. The tune, YORKSHIRE, by John Wainwright, perfectly captures the exuberance of the text and the subject matter.

Christians, awake! Salute the happy morn
whereon the Savior of the world was born;
rise to adore the mystery of love,
which hosts of angels chanted from above;
with them the joyful tidings first begun,
of God incarnate and the virgin’s Son.

Then to the watchful shepherds it was told,
who heard th’angelic herald’s voice, “Behold,
I bring good tidings of a Savior’s birth
to you and all the nations of the earth;
this day hath God fulfilled His promised Word;
this day is born a Savior, Christ the Lord.”

This may we hope, th’angelic hosts among,
to sing, redeemed a glad triumphal song.
He that was born upon this joyful day
around us all His glory shall display.
Saved by His love, incessantly we sing
eternal praise to heav’n’s almighty King.

Download this hymn.

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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

3 Responses to Eleventh Hymn of Christmas: Christians, Awake!

  1. Our family loves singing this each Christmas morning, and we have been doing so for several years, as I put it in my devotional book. :-)

    I introduced this to our congregation a couple years ago as well, and to another local congregation this year. Joyful, exuberant, biblically accurate, and beautiful!

  2. It has only been a couple years, so they have not sung it much, but they have done it fine. Our family “introduced” it by singing it as just our family, then we included it in our supplement and have sung it since. Singing it only once a year is hard, but over time I think it will “grow” more on people.

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