November 28, 2022

Christmas and Advent Hymns and their Story

“The Advent of our King”

Charles Coffin [1676-1734], is the author of the hymn “The Advent of our King”.  This hymn came into use as the opening hymn for the Church, for the season of Advent.  History teaches us, that in France, it would be sung in the very, very early hours of the First Sunday of Advent [most usually around 2-3 a.m.].  Since that Sunday is also the 1st Sunday of the new Church year, he refers to Zechariah 9:9 ; “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”  This ancient text is used to exhort the people of Israel to greet their newborn King and Messiah who would one day be riding a donkey through the streets of Jerusalem, on His path to earn for them their salvation.  In verse 5, there is a command to put away sinful deeds and to put on a new self as it brought to mind by Romans 13:12 - “the night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”   
We sing in this hymn that Christ Jesus, who has already come once before, will come again, as our Savior and King at the end of time, bringing with Him God’s forgiveness and grace.

The Advent of our King our prayers must now employ,
And we must hymns of welcome sing in strains of holy joy.

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