Fling Wide the Door is a lovely Advent hymn that I became acquainted with through the German Methodist hymnal. In German, it is Macht Hoch die Tür. I’ve sung it at our beloved little Wiesloch EmK, but you hear it everywhere in Germany at this time of year. It echoes from the churches in town when you walk by them on Saturday evenings, and brass bands play it in the square during Weihnachtsmarkt concerts. I think its haunting melody will remind me of Germany every December.
* * *
Fling wide the door, unbar the gate;
The King of glory comes in state;
The Lord of lords and King of kings,
The Savior of the world who brings
His great salvation to the earth.
So raise a shout of holy mirth
And praise our God and Lord,
Creator, Spirit Word.
He is the rock of our belief,
The heart of mercy’s gentle self.
His kingly crown is holiness;
His scepter is his loveliness;
He brings our sorrows to an end.
Now gladly praise our king and friend,
And worship him with song,
For saving us from wrong.
O, happy towns and blessed lands
That live by their true king’s commands,
And blessed be the hearts he rules,
The humble places where he dwells.
He is the rightful Son of bliss
Who fills our lives and makes us his,
Creator of the world,
Our only strength for good.
Come, Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ;
Our hearts are open wide in trust.
Oh, show us now your lovely grace,
Upon our sorrows shine your face,
And let your Holy Spirit guide
Our journey in your grace so wide.
We praise your holy name,
From age to age the same.
* * *
German Lyrics by Georg Weissel, 1642,
English Translation by Gracia Grindal, 1978.
Tune Macht Hoch die Tür by J. A. Freylinghausen, 1704.
Listen to a MIDI version of the tune at Hymntime.