Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Charles Wesley’s (1707-1788) Advent hymn, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” from Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord (1744), reflects the dual nature of Advent for Christians, in that it recalls the first coming and incarnation of the Messiah while also anticipating His return.

Each stanza presents a different idea: Stanza 1, the longing for freedom from sin and fear; Stanza 2, attributes of or names for Christ; Stanza 3, the Messiah’s birth, kingdom, and purpose; and Stanza 4, a prayer for Christ’s rule in believers’ hearts. Among the Scriptures referenced in the hymn are 2 Corinthians 4:14, Revelation 3:21, Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 4:18-19, and Romans 6:22.

In this setting of Wesley’s text to an original tune, a short introduction is followed by verse 1, presented by women’s voices (soprano, alto) and verse 2, presented by men’s voices (tenor, bass). Verse 3 is presented by SATB voices, unaccompanied; and following a short organ interlude and modulation from D minor to E minor, the concluding verse 4 is introduced by all voices in unison with organ, then expands both dynamically and in texture to SATB and ends on a glorious E major chord.

SATB/piano score (4 pages, 8.5×11″) — $2.00 USD/copy

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