The choir made me happy at Mass this morning by singing my (current) favorite Advent hymn. A wee bit slowly if they don't mind some criticism, but still.

Can't find a performance on the web to give you a hint how great it is, but the tune is Gaudeamus Pariter with these lyrics set to it.

When the king shall come again
All his pow'r revealing,
Splendor shall announce his reign
Life and joy and healing;
Earth no longer in decay,
Hope no more frustrated;
This is God's redemption day
Longingly awaited.

In the desert trees take root
Fresh from his creation;
Plants and flow'rs and sweetest fruit
Join the celebration.
Rivers spring up from the earth,
Barren lands adorning;
Valleys, this is your new birth,
Mountains, greet the morning.

Then comes the third and best verse. For me, it paints a picture so glorious I can hardly sing the final couplets without tearing up. Especially if sung at the right pace --stately, but with a bit of a spring-- it makes heaven seem almost present already. (Isn't it odd how music can sweep us up sometimes? And it's just the one verse that does it for me.)

Strengthen, feeble hands and knees,
Fainting hearts, be cheerful!
God who comes for such as these
Seeks and saves the fearful.
Now the deaf shall hear the dumb
Sing away their weeping.
Blind eyes, see the injured come --
Walking, running, leaping!

There God's highway shall be seen
Where no roaring lion,
Nothing evil or unclean
Walks the road to Zion.
Ransomed people homeward bound
All your praises voicing,
See your Lord with glory crowned,
Share in his rejoicing!