With Glory Lit, the Midnight Air--Interesting Story of this Christmas Hymn
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 150
    Speaking of favorite Christmas hymns, I wonder if anyone still uses “With Glory Lit, the Midnight Air Revealed,” by Professor Henry Dielman of Mt. St. Mary’s, Emmitsburg, Maryland. This is my favorite hymn, and I learned it in Catholic elementary school in the days before Vatican II. After much practice, we sang it at the “Children’s Mass” on Christmas and a couple of Sundays afterward each year.

    Recently, through the kindness of Richard Chonak, I learned the fascinating story about its composer, his son, and the “ghost story” associated with the hymn, truly a part of Maryland ghost tales and history.

    Check out these two links:
    http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/history/stories/chrismas_legends.htm
    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2001-10-27/features/0110270054_1_dielman-christmas-eve-carols

    The hymn originally appeared in LAUDIS CORONA (Sadlier, 1885). The hymn achieved popularity, though, through its publication by McLaughlin & Reilly in song sheet form in the first year of the company’s existence (1906); a former employee of the firm once told me that this hymn was a “top seller” all through the years and that he was constantly filling the “bin” where the sheet music was contained. Two versions of the hymn exist: the complete version (in song sheet form) and a version with an abridged chorus (in LAUDIS CORONA and McLaughlin and Reilly’s STANDARD CATHOLIC HYMNAL, 1921). We sang the abridged version in school. Further investigation indicates that this hymn also appeared in several Lutheran hymnals—something quite unusual 100 years ago.

    After I read the two articles referenced above, I couldn’t help but wonder if strains of “With Glory Lit, the midnight air revealed bright angels hov’ring there” were heard at Emmitsburg on Christmas eve, a week ago.

    Here is the music for both versions:
    1817 x 2856 - 1M
    1998 x 2958 - 1M
    2003 x 2952 - 1M
    2004 x 2958 - 1M
    2406 x 3167 - 2M
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 362
    I remember singing this hymn at St. Mary's in Akron, Ohio under the direction of Ralph Jordan. We sang the complete version and also had a couple trumpets. I have a recording somewhere on a old cassette tape. It sure brings back good memories.