How Great Our Joy


And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (Luke 2:10)

How Great Our Joy is possibly one of the most majestic Christmas songs, ever written, and yet it is simple in its message. I first the song performed around 1997 in a cantata at Liberty Baptist Church in my hometown.

Christ is the joy of all. In Him is peace that no one else can give. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalms 16:11). Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

The words for How Great Our Joy originated in a Ger­man car­ol; the first two verses were trans­lat­ed to Eng­lish by The­o­dore Bak­er (1851-1934). The melody is also a Ger­man mel­o­dy. It was arranged by Hu­go Jüngst (1853-1923).

While by the sheep we watched at night,
Glad tidings brought an angel bright.

Chorus: How great our joy! Great our joy!
Joy, joy, joy! Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!

There shall be born, so He did say,
In Bethlehem a Child today.

There shall the Child lie in a stall,
This Child who shall redeem us all.

This gift of God we’ll cherish well,
That ever joy our hearts shall fill.

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