Come, thou long-expected Jesus

Text: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Music: Christian F. Witt (c.1660-1716)
Tune name: STUTTGART

 

THE TEXT

This Advent hymn was first published in Charles Wesley’s Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord (1744). As every good Advent hymn should do, it refers to both comings of our Lord, with numerous biblical allusions. The first and second stanzas reflect the longing of ancient Israel for a Redeemer. The third stanza connects Christ’s rule of all things with his rule in us, an idea picked up in the last stanza with the reference of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, coupled with an anticipation of our ascent to the presence of God.

THE TUNE

STUTTGART first appeared in print in Psalmodia Sacra (1715), an influential hymnal of the early eighteenth century. The hymnal’s editor, Christian F. Witt,  was a German composer and organist, at one time Kapellmeister at the Gotha court. The cheerful and simple two-line tune is as rhythmically simple as a hymn can be, and includes a number of repeated notes.

 

“Come, thou long-expected Jesus” sung by
the All Saints Choir, Wallace Hornady, organ