“I Was Glad” is a big, bold way to start Advent.
The words are from Psalm 122:
- I was glad when they said unto me : We will go into the house of the Lord.
- Our feet shall stand in thy gates : O Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem is built as a city : that is at unity in itself.
- For thither the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord : to testify unto Israel, to give thanks unto the Name of the Lord.
- For there is the seat of judgement : even the seat of the house of David.
- O pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love thee.
- Peace be within thy walls : and plenteousness within thy palaces.
- For my brethren and companions’ sakes : I will wish thee prosperity.
- Yea, because of the house of the Lord our God : I will seek to do thee good.
Advent is the start of the liturgical year, and the time for us to get our hearts ready for Christmas, for the advent of Emmanuel, God with Us.
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry wrote this setting in 1902. He is best known for “Jerusalem,” a lovely tune with weird theological overtones in the lyrics.
He was a baronet, went to Eton and Oxford, and tried working as an insurance underwriter before giving in to his love for music.
His piece, “Jerusalem,” was popular with the women of the women’s suffrage movement.
It is clearly not an Advent hymn, but this strikes me as a surprising fact, and it is a lovely tune.