1000 Songs/Wake awake for night is flying (Philipp Nicolai)

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Wake awake for night is flying (Philipp Nicolai)

1000 Songs

Text[edit | edit source]

The Hymn "Wake awake for night is flying" is a text that relates to the second coming of Christ, Jerusalem taken to heaven by the Bridegroom (Christ), and rejoicing and singing around the throne of God with the angels. In the first verse of the hymn, there is distinct imagery used from the gospel of Matthew 25:1-13, which is the parable of the ten virgins. In verse two, there are a few descriptions of Jesus such as: Star, Light, Blessed One, God's Beloved Son. And in Verse three, there is even more great use of Biblical word use: "nor eye has seen, nor ear has heard"-1 Corinthians 2:9, "angels round"-Revelation 5:11, "Watchmen on a city hill" -Isaiah 52:8

Author[edit | edit source]

Translations/Challenges[edit | edit source]

Catherine Winkworth translated the text from German into English in 1858.

Editor's Choice[edit | edit source]

English text

Music[edit | edit source]

Johann S. Bach

Tune[edit | edit source]

Arrangements[edit | edit source]

Editor's Choice[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

The story behind this hymn is surrounded with sorrow and death. Unna, Germany, 1598, marked the horrible time of the plague that wiped out around 1300 in Phillip Nicolai's community. The point of this hymn was to give hope to those afflicted by suffering that the bridegroom Jesus Christ will return. This should be viewed by Christ followers as joyous anticipation rather than a dreaded and feared day of doom. This joy is the light that Nicolai was trying to shed in a winter where he held up to thirty funerals a day.

Author biography[edit | edit source]

Son of a Lutheran pastor, Phillip Nicolai was born in Germany in 1556. He studied at Erfert and Wittenburg where he became a pastor himself. Nicolai is known to be history's greatest chorale writers.

Author's circumstances[edit | edit source]

Historical setting[edit | edit source]

Cultural setting[edit | edit source]

The plague in Germany