There is a delay before audio plays on mobile devices. To prevent exceeding mobile data caps, on smartphones and tablets HTML5 audio waits until you hit the play button before downloading - and won't start playing until enough of the file has been streamed so the clip will play without interruption. Note: the quality of your headphones matters.


Audio: three-verse study: two hymnal verses plus harmonized descant.
Two descant scores: "Come thou long-expected Jesus", and Timothy Dudley-Smith's "Child of Mary, softly sleeping."
 Free score. 

1 hymnal, unison
Come, thou long-expected Jesus
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

3. hymnal, satb
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

4 descant
By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

This annually expected, regularly awaited hymn is a calendrical milestone, marking the First Sunday of Advent for wide number of parishes. Though written for a Christmas collection Charles Wesley (Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord, 1744) this longing petition has a more natural home as an introit for Advent. As Carl Daw notes in Glory to God: A Companion:

"Despite the four appearances of 'born' here, this is not so much a text about the Nativity as it is about Incarnation. The details of birth are never mentioned: no manger, no shepherds, no angels." 

Though sometimes set to HYFRYDOL, comprising two verses, the understated elegance of STUTTGART is perfectly matched to the anticipatory nature of Wesley's prose, rendering it in four verses. The tune has been adapted several times from its original 1715 publication, with meter and notation adjusted to from different forms and rhythms. The tune has nothing whatsoever to do with the city for which it was named.

The hymn Child of Mary, softly sleeping is by Timothy Dudley-Smith, and circulated on one of his Christmas cards. Note that use of this text requires a standard license from Hope Publishing.

Resources and references
Hymn expresses longing for arrival of our Savior - C. Michael Hawn, History of Hymns (UMC Discipleship Ministries)
Glory to God: A Companion - Carl P. Daw, Jr (Westminster John Knox Press), Amazon link

1. Come thou long-expected Jesus

By thine own eternal Spirit

rule in all our hearts alone;

By thine all-sufficient merit

raise us to thy glorious throne.

–Charles Wesley, 1744

2. Child of Mary, softly sleeping

Child of glory now proclaim him!

Hear the angel host reply:

risen Lord and Saviour name him,

'Glory be to God on high!'

– Words: Timothy Dudley-Smith © 2007 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Printing, photocopying, and/or sharing additional copies requires a license from CCLI,, or Hope Publishing Company

Link to full text on Hope Publishing website (Note: license required to use this text)

Make a contribution

Your donation in any amount support for the incidental costs of hosting a website that contains almost entirely free resources for the performance of this literature.

Via PayPal (Credit/Debit accepted)