Hark, a Herald Voice is Calling is a hymn for Advent that has been used by the Church since the 5th or 6th century. Originally the Latin hymn Vox clara ecce intonant, it was revised by Pope Urban VIII for the 1632 Roman Breviary with the new first line: En Clara Vox Redarguit.
My favorite melody for this hymn comes from the Fulda Hymn Book of 1695. It was published in 1953 in the Pius X Hymnal.
I love the exhortations to “cast away the dreams of darkness” and “let the earth-bound soul arise.” Christ is coming to dispel all slothfulness, and to forgive anyone who hastens to Him “with tears of sorrow.”
May you have a holy Advent!
Hark, a Herald Voice is Calling:
Translation by Rev. Edward Caswell
1. Hark! a herald voice is calling:
‘Christ is nigh,’ it seems to say;
‘Cast away the dreams of darkness,
O ye children of the day!’
2. Startled at the solemn warning,
Let the earth-bound soul arise;
Christ, her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
Shines upon the morning skies.
3. Lo! the Lamb, so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from heaven;
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiven;
4. So when next He comes with glory,
Wrapping all the earth in fear,
May He then as our defender
On the clouds of heaven appear.
5. Honor, glory, virtue, merit,
To the Father and the Son,
With the co-eternal Spirit,
While unending ages run. Amen.
For more hymns, please see the List of Catholic Hymns, Songs, and Chants.