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Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King!”

Felix Mendelssohn’s tune to this 18th Century Christmas hymn can be heard every year throughout the world, and not least at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe. For these last thirty years the Basilica’s Choir has led us in joining our voices with those of the herald angels in singing: “Glory to the new-born King!” And this year they will do the same.

This year we invite you to join in the Song. No doubt, many would respond with words from Psalm 137: “But how can we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?” There is so much sadness in our world, in our families and even in our Church. Maybe we feel that dirges are the only song we can sing. But we are a people of hope and instead we are inspired by words from Psalm 150 and so we will praise God in his holy sanctuary.

The joyful strains of strings and pipes, blasts upon the horn and the sounding of cymbals will echo in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe. These will encourage us to sing: “Glory to the new-born King!”

As we prepare to sing, I ask you to join us in praying the words of the Advent Antiphon on the enclosed bookmark as our Christmas Novena, beginning on December 17.

May peace and all good be yours for Advent, Christmas and throughout 2024.

Very Reverend Anthony Aarons, Missionary of Mercy