People, Look East
A Study Pack on Advent Hymns
The Presbyterian Leader is proud to present an Advent study pack on five Advent hymns. It is written by Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle, the chair of the committee that created the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God, which will be published in Fall 2013. Each week presents the history and relevance of a hymn to be sung during Advent, all of which are included in the new hymnal. The hymns include:Week 1: Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty GatesWeek 2: O Splendor of God's Glory Bright and Savior of the Nations, ComeWeek 3: People, Look EastWeek 4: Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying, also called Sleepers, Wake! A Voice Astounds Us
Mel introduces the study by reminding us that hymns have histories: they were written by particular people, often in response to particular circumstances in the writers' lives. More than this, hymns teach history. By paying attention to their back stories, we learn of joys and struggles that have occupied our ancestors in the faith from biblical times to our own. So, come, learn about these songs, and enjoy singing your way through Advent.
As you read, study, sing, and pray your way through these lessons, your group will feel part of a veritable choir of witnesses, stretching back for centuries. And they will feel led forward to that time beyond time when we all will sing together before the throne of the Lamb.