Advent Sunday: Lo! he comes, with clouds descending

Advent simply couldn’t get off to the right start without this hymn. Enjoy (and the bonus verse too)!

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord returns to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him,
robed in dreadful majesty;
those who set at nought and sold him,
pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall the true Messiah see.

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers;
with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
gaze we on those glorious scars!

Now redemption, long expected,
see in solemn pomp appear;
all his saints, by man rejected,
now shall meet him in the air:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
See the day of God appear!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory;
claim the kingdom for thine own:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone.

Words: John Cennick (1718-1755), 1752 as altered by Charles Wesley (1707-1788), 1758; and then altered by Martin Madan (1726-1790), 1760.

Here’s an excellent rendition of the text with a most sturdy tune (and some commentary by moi). This one is probably a bit more accurate if you’re looking for a period performance.

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