Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christ, whose glory fills the skies

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn
Unaccompanied by Thee;
Joyless is the day’s return
Till Thy mercy’s beams I see;
Till they inward light impart,
Glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day.

I had never thought of Charles Wesley's 'Christ, whose glory fills the skies' as an Advent hymn before - it was written as a hymn for the morning, I believe - but I heard it sung at Evensong the other day, and it works well at this time of year. Perhaps it's because the phrase 'Sun of Righteousness' (which is from Malachi 4:2) recalls Wesley's other more famous Christmas hymn (and there's also this; I think he liked that image!).  Or perhaps it's just the imagery of light triumphing over darkness which makes it so appropriate for this season - 'the year's midnight'.