Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.
Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.
Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
Yonder shines the infant light:
Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.
Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear.
Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.
Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:
All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One.
The author of Angels From the Realms of Glory was an Irishman called James Montgomery. He came from a religious family background and sadly his parents, who were missionaries died following their vocation. Angels From the Realms of Glory was written in 1816. The music for Angels From the Realms of Glory was composed by Henry Smart. The lyrics of Angels From the Realms of Glory tell the story of the shepherds, sages and Saints.
Note: In place of the verse “Sinners, wrung with true repentance…” some hymnals use the following, written in 1855 by Isaac Gregory Smith:
Lord of Heaven, we adore Thee,
God the Father, God the Son,
God the Spirit, One in glory,
On the same eternal throne.
Lord of Heaven, Three in One.
Words: James Montgomery, in his Sheffield newspaper, Iris, Christmas Eve, 1816. It was published again in Christian Psalmist, 1825. Stanza 5 is from The Christmas Box, 1825.
Music: “Regent Square,” Henry T. Smart, in Psalms and Hymns for Divine Worship (London: 1867).
Recorded/Performed: Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians - 1957
Julie Andrews - 1968
Also recorded by: Maddy Prior; Butch Thomas; Scarlet Rivera; Connie Brown; Eric Rigler; John Fahey; Lorie Line; Percy Faith.