One of my favorite advent hymns is this one by Johann Olearius.
1 “Comfort, comfort ye my people;
speak of peace,” so says our God.
“Comfort those who sit in darkness,
groaning from their sorrows’ load.
Speak to all Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell them that their sins I cover,
that their warfare now is over.”
2 All their sins our God will pardon,
blotting out each dark misdeed;
all that well deserved his anger
he no more will see or heed.
They have suffered many a day;
now their griefs have passed away.
God will change their aching sadness
into ever-springing gladness.
3 John the Baptist’s voice is crying
in the desert far and near,
calling people to repentance
for the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
let the Valleys rise to meet him
and the hills bow down to greet him.
4 Then make straight the crooked highway;
make the rougher places plain.
Let your hearts be true and humble,
ready for his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
now o’er earth is spread abroad,
and all flesh shall see the token
that his word is never broken.
I love the tune, written by Louis Bourgeois. The words are from Isaiah 40:1, translated from the German by Catherine Winkworth.