We rehearsed the Bach last night under the baton of a young conducting student with a hairband and a pair of hipster trousers.

We’re doing Bach’s Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61. It’s better than when we started, but it really hasn’t grown on me.

Instead, let today’s song be “All My Heart this Night Rejoices.” This is such an enchanting tune, also German and not too far from Bach in time, with a translation by Catherine Winkworth.

All my heart this night rejoices
As I hear
Far and near
Sweetest angel voices.
“Christ is born!” their choirs are singing
Till the air
Ev’rywhere
Now with joy is ringing.

2 Hear! The Conqueror has spoken:
“Now the foe,
Sin and woe,
Death and hell are broken!”
God is man, man to deliver,
And the Son
Now is one
With our blood forever.

3 Should we fear our God’s displeasure,
Who to save,
Freely gave
His most precious treasure?
To redeem us He has given
His own Son
From the throne
Of His might in heaven.

4 See the lamb, our sin once taking
To the cross,
Suff’ring loss,
Full atonement making.
For our life His own He tenders,
And His grace
All our race
Fit for glory renders.

5 Softly from His lowly manger
Jesus calls
One and all,
“You are safe from danger.
Children, from the sins that grieve you
You are freed;
All you need
I will surely give you.”

6 Come, then, banish all your sadness!
One and all,
Great and small,
Come with songs of gladness.
We shall live with Him forever
There on high
In that joy
Which will vanish never.