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"It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" (), sometimes rendered as "It Came Upon a Midnight From angels bending near the earth, To touch their harps of gold.
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Daily Marriage Tip

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. Winter Wonderland. Frosty the Snowman.

Let It Snow! New stories and special story tellers can be especially delightful, since they also bring the unexpected. The coming of Christ was just such an event. It was so greatly desired, but so completely unexpected. Prophets foretold the event, but they never told exactly when it would happen.


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Centuries came and went. The stories of creation, the Exodus, and the reign of King David were told and retold, time after time. They were tales of joy and success.

Prints That Win: Angels Bending Near the Earth | LexJet Blog

They had happy endings. Like children, the Israelites loved to hear the stories. They knew that they were part of that story—the continuation of that wonderful history. And then one night, special story tellers came.

Three Chorales for Cello & Piano: Angels Bending Near the Earth

Angels appeared to shepherds near Jerusalem. The angels affirmed the old stories, and they brought the unexpected: Christ was born! No wonder they left their flocks to find the newborn child. It also happens to be one of the first Christmas carols Americans wrote and composed.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear | Lyrics & Free Easy Piano Sheet Music

The historical context helps shed some light. Massachusetts native Edmund Hamilton Sears earned a degree from the Harvard Divinity School and became ordained a Unitarian minister in , serving congregations throughout Massachusetts.


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In his youth, Sears developed a great love for poetry. Americans were still dealing with the effects of the Industrial Revolution; the Mexican-American War had just recently ended; the California Gold Rush was creating excitement, but was also disrupting the lives of men and women caught up in Gold Fever; and tensions over the issue of slavery in America were growing, eventually leading to the Civil War.

Notably, Sears did not start from scratch when he wrote this hymn at Christmastime in As the co-editor of the Monthly Religious Magazine, Sears could easily submit and publish hymns, which he often did. Later, Richard Storrs Willis , a music critic for the New York Herald Tribune—a newspaper no longer circulating but quite influential in its time—would write the tune we now use for the song. Willis was born to a prominent family in Boston.

He had received the best education that America had to offer, and when entering Yale in , quickly earned distinction in literary and musical societies.

The Story Behind It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

Willis also studied music in Germany, meeting and becoming friends with Felix Mendelssohn. A letter Willis wrote simply states,.


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  5. Nevertheless, the music beautifully matches the words of the hymn, expressing a sense of peace in the flowing phrases and rise and fall of the notes. The second stanza of the carol presents a touching picture of the angels singing above the earth to the shepherds:. In this present moment, the angels are singing and praising the Savior.