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I wanted to post this before Advent is over and just getting to it now. During the first Sunday of Advent, a priest in a homily brought up an Advent hymn, “Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying,” to make a particular theological point. I had never heard of that hymn before, and no wonder. As I researched it turned out to be originally a Lutheran hymn. (Although I did find a version of this in my Catholic hymnal at church, an abbreviated version with a slightly different title. I don’t recall it ever being sung at our church.) If you want to learn its history on how it went from the German composer, Philipp Nicolai (1556–1608), how it was made popular by J. S. Bach, and how it entered the English language through Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878), you can read about it here. It has a really rich history.
But my purpose is to share this hymn. Has anyone heard this before? It has a rather unusual melody, perhaps because it was composed during the baroque or perhaps because it was translated from German. Or both. Here is a very beautiful choral arrangement by the Luther College Nordic Choir.