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2nd Sunday of Advent Carol

"it Came Upon A Midnight Clear" has one distinguishing fact from all other Christmas carols. It never mentions the birth of Christ. This carol focuses instead on the angels who came to bring the good news of "Peace on earth, good will to men!"


The carol was written by a Massachusetts native, Edmund Hamilton Sears, in 1839. Sear was a Unitarian minister writing during the time of Civil War. This carol has been called one of the first social gospel hymns written in the United States because of its emphasis on peace among God's people.


The original third verse of the hymn sheds light on the poet's concerns about the social situation in the U.S.

"But with the woes of sin and strife

The world has suffered long;

Beneath the angel-strain have rolled

Two thousand years of wrong;

And man, at war with man, hears not

The love-song, which they bring;

O hush the noise, ye men of strife,

And hear the angels sing!"


Information for this blog was taken from an article written by Dr. Hawn, a professor of sacred music at Perkins School of Theology. for UMC Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church.

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