To Hear The Angels Sing

It’s an under-rated, under-utilized hymn. To tell the truth, I’d never paid much attention to it until this year, when it really struck a chord (no pun intended…unless you like that sort of thing) with me.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear was written in 1849 by a Unitarian pastor in Wayland, Massachusetts. What is different about this carol is that only the first verse speaks of what happened on the night that Christ was born. The rest of the song is about how, in the midst of human strife and war and the crushing load of life, the angels still come. Check out verse three:

And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

No matter what is going on in our world, the angels still come and sing. The angels still come with their song of peace on earth and goodwill to all. It was a song the shepherds needed to hear 2000 years ago, and it’s a song we desperately need to hear today.

Let us take a moment to rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.


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