From angels bending near the earth To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men, From heaven’s all-gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay, To hear the angels sing.
I pray for courageous world leaders who pursue the common welfare before political gain, who consider cooperation before the triumph of strength: for real conversations about poverty and women’s health and violence and hatred and greed. I pray for the nations’ citizens to sing of peace on earth louder than they sing of patriotism: for listening and understanding to lead us in complex matters of trade and migration and security. I pray for foresight and insight to see the world’s possibilities and live into them: to hear of war and still live for community, to see despair and still speak of hope, to learn of the breadth of injustice and yet work for reconciliation.
Who toil along the climbing way With painful steps and slow —
Look now! for glad and golden hours Come swiftly on the wing:
O rest beside the weary road, And hear the angels sing.
(Text: Edmund H. Sears 1850; Tune: R. Storrs Willis 1850)