LSB 897: O Rejoice, Ye Christians Loudly

Christmastide is a time of great joy and rejoicing!  The words for both “joy” and “rejoicing” in the New Testament Greek are interrelated (as they are in English), and point squarely to God’s grace in sending His Son to us to take on our flesh, die for us on the Cross, and rise again to declare us right with Him.  In our AD 2023-2024 Christmastide seasonal hymn, LSB 897: O Rejoice, Ye Christians Loudly, we indeed rejoice along with all Christians of all time, as we celebrate Jesus’ birth for us and for all humanity.

In the first stanza we rejoice in our Lord’s Incarnation.  By humbling Himself to take on our flesh and live among us, He has “honored” our entire human race, barring no one.  We continue in the second stanza reminding ourselves that, in His self-giving love for us, our Lord Jesus embraced weakness and poverty, beginning in His Incarnation as a single-cell zygote, to suffer and die, to redeem us.  In the third stanza, we reflect on what this all means for us; acknowledging that no matter how smart, strong or rich any of us might appear to be, none of us can save him- or herself. The work of our eternal salvation is wholly that of our Lord.  He has joined us to Himself; we pray that He not let us forget this, that we remain joined to Him and continually receive “true peace,” namely reconciliation to the Father.  We conclude in the fourth stanza by praying that Jesus guard and guide all to whom He has joined Himself (namely us and all Christians), fill them with His grace, hearing their prayers, increasing His faith in them, and granting His peace in the coming year.  Each stanza is followed by a refrain in which we proclaim our true joy in all that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has done for us.

When we sing O Rejoice, Ye Christians Loudly, we joyfully proclaim the sanctity of human life, from fertilization into eternity.  All lives matter to God, including babies in the womb, the poor, the despised, the weak, the sick and the dying (note that this hymn was written in 1645, in the midst of plague and the devastation of the Thirty Years’ War).1 They matter because of all that our Lord has done for them. And yes, this even includes the nonbelievers, whom He ultimately “desires … to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”2 Thus we, “tell abroad His goodness proudly,” praying that He will use our witness to convert and save them as well.  And never forget, no matter what troubles or sorrows you may experience in this vale of tears, you too matter to Him! Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!3

Christmastide is truly a season of “joy beyond all gladness”!  All who serve on your CLC Hymnody Planning Committee and your CLC Life Team wish you a joyous and blessed Christmastide and God’s peace in the New Year.


  1. For background information on the hymn, see Robert J.H. Mayes, “O rejoice, ye Christians, loudly,” in Joseph Herl, Peter C. Reske, Jon D. Vieker, eds. Lutheran Service Book Companion to the Hymns, Volume 1 (St. Louis: CPH, 2019), pp. 1423-1425.
  2. 1 Timothy 2:4, c.f. Catalina Lutheran Church Mission Statement
  3. 2 Corinthians 9:15

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