All My Heart This Night Rejoices

Representative Text

1 All my heart this night rejoices
as I hear far and near
sweetest angel voices.
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing
till the air ev'rywhere
now with joy is ringing.

2 Forth today the Conqu'ror goeth,
who the foe, sin and woe,
death and hell, o'erthroweth.
God is man, man to deliver;
His dear Son now is one
with our blood forever.

3 Shall we still dread God's displeasure,
who, to save, freely gave
His most cherished Treasure?
To redeem us, He hath given
His own Son from the throne
of His might in heaven.

4 He becomes the Lamb that taketh
sin away and for aye
full atonement maketh.
For our life His own He tenders;
and our race, by His grace,
fit for glory renders.

5 Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
soft and sweet, doth entreat,
"Flee from woe and danger;
brethren, from all ills that grieve you
you are freed; all you need
I will surely give you."

6 Come, then, banish all your sadness,
one and all, great and small;
come with songs of gladness.
Love Him who with love is glowing;
hail the star, near and far
light and joy bestowing.

7 Dearest Lord, Thee will I cherish.
Though my breath fail in death,
yet I shall not perish,
but with Thee abide for ever
there on high, in that joy
which can vanish never.

Source: Psalms and Hymns to the Living God #247

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… Go to person page >


Fröhlich soll mein herze springen. P. Gerhardt. [Christmas.] Included as No. 104 in the Frankfurt edition 1656, of Crüger's Praxis pietatis melica in 15 stanzas of 8 lines, reprinted in Wackernagel’s edition of his Geistliche Lieder, No. 5, and Bachmann's edition, No. 44; and included as No. 35 in the Unverfälscher Liedersegen, 1851. Lauxmann, in Koch, viii. 26, thus analyses it:

First a trumpet blast: Christ is born, God's Champion has appeared as a Bridegroom from his chamber (i., ii.). In the following 4 stanzas the poet seeks to set forth the mighty value of the Incarnation: is it not love when God gives us the Son of His Love (iii.), the Kingdom of Joy (iv.), and His Fellowship (v.). Yes, it is indeed the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world (vi.) Now he places himself as herald by the cradle of the Divine Child (vii.). He bids, as in Matt. xi. 28, all men (viii.), all they that labour (ix.), all the heavy laden (x.), and all the poor (xi.), to draw near. Then in conclusion he approaches in supplication as the shepherds and the Wise Men (xii.-xv.). He adores the Child as his source of life (xii.), his Lamb of God (xiii.), his Glory (xiv.), and promises to be ever true to Him (xv.). It is a glorious series of Christmas thoughts, laid as a garland on the manger at Bethlehem.

He adds that at the second day of the Christmas celebration, 1715, at Glaucha, near Halle, C. H. v. Bogatzky (q.v.), by the singing of stanzas xiii., xiv., was first clearly led to un¬derstand justification by faith in Jesus Christ.
Translations in common use:--
1. Let the voice of glad thanksgiving. A good translation of stanzas i.-iii., vi.-ix., by A. T. Russell, as No. 15 in the Dalston Hospital Hymn Book, 1848, and repeated, omitting the translations of stanzas vi.-viii. as No. 56 in his own Psalms & Hymns. 1851.
2. All my heart this night rejoices. A beautiful but rather free translation omitting stanzas iii.-v., xiii., xiv. by Miss Winkworth in the 2nd series of her Lyra Germanica 1858, p. 13, repeated in full in Brown-Borthwick's Supplemental Hymn &Tune Book, 1867, and omitting the translation of stanza vi. in J. L. Porter's Collection 1876. In Miss Winkworth's Chorale Book for England, 1863, No 31, the translations of stanzas ii., vi., xii. are omitted. The more important centos are the translations of stanzas i., ii., vii., viii. in Church Hymns, 1871, Allon's Supplemental Hymns, &c.; and the translations of i., vii.-ix., xii., xv. in the Supplement of 1880 to the Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858; and in America in the Dutch Reformed Hymns of the Church, 1869, the Hymns and Songs of Praise, N. Y., 1874, &c. Other centos are in the New Zealand Hymnal, 1872, the Evangelical Hymnal N. Y., 1880, the Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book, 1883, and Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884.
3. All my heart with joy is springing. A good but free translation by Dr. Kennedy, as No. 100 in his Hymnologia Christiana, 1863, omitting stanzas iii.-v., ix., xiii., xiv. His translations of stanzas i., ii., vi., vii. were repeated in the Anglican Hymn Book, 1871.
4. Lightly bound my bosom, ringing. In full, by Dr. M. Loy, in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880.

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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Timeless Truths #31
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Moravian Book of Worship #289

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The Cyber Hymnal #107

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