Hail to the Lord's Anointed

This hymn first published in 1821 as a Christmas hymn.   Based on Psalm 72, it is frequently sung for Advent or Epiphany, but it also has strong social justice / concern themes.

The words were written by Scottish-born, later English-resident, Morovian-church member, hymn writer, poet and newspaper editor, James Montgomery (1771-1854).

With meter of 76 76D, tunes that the hymn has been set to include:
  • ELLACOMBE, from Gesangbuch der Herzogl, 1784
  • ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVOGELEIN - a 17th century German folk tune, harmonized by George Ratcliffe Woodward, 1904
  • CRUGER by Johann Crüger (1598-1662)


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Congregation with organ, tune: ES FLOG EIN KLEINS WALDVOGELEIN

Instrumental - ELLACOMBE:


Hail to the Lord's anointed,
great David's greater son!
Hail in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free;
To take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

He comes with succor speedy
to those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying,
are precious in his sight.

He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
spring in his path to birth.
Before him on the mountains,
shall peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness, in fountains,
from hill to valley flow.

To him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.
The tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
His name shall stand forever;
that name to us is love.

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