New Christmas worship song: "Take Up the Story"

Between finals week and Advent, December is always an especially busy time for me. Last year, I realized after Christmas that I had forgotten to post the new song I wrote for my church, so I figured I would hold off until Advent 2019. You can see where this is going–I spent this month chasing one deadline after another and forgot again. But it’s still the Christmas season, so I figured I would share it now instead of waiting another year!

In the few years I’ve been writing new melodies to public-domain hymn texts, I keep coming back to Fanny Crosby’s prolific output, and this is another one of hers. The original title was “Never Shone a Light So Fair,” but I kept forgetting that, so I called my version “Take Up the Story.”

1. Never shone a light so fair,
Never fell so sweet a song,
As the chorus in the air,
Chanted by the angel-throng;
Ev’ry star took up the story,
“Christ has come, the Prince of glory,
Come in humble hearts to dwell,
God with us, God with us,
God with us, Immanuel.”
2. Still that Jubilee of song
Breaks upon the rising morn;
While the anthem rolls along,
Floods of light the earth adorn;
Old and young take up the story,
“Christ has come, the Prince of glory,
Come in humble hearts to dwell,
God with us, God with us,
God with us, Immanuel.”
3. Welcome now the blessed day
When we praise the Lord our King;
When we meet to praise and pray,
And His love with gladness sing;
Let the world take up the story,
“Christ has come, the Prince of glory,
Come in humble hearts to dwell,
God with us, God with us,
God with us, Immanuel.”
(If your church tends to stay away from “Lord our King”-type language like mine does, my suggested alternative for the beginning of verse 3 is “Welcome now the blessed day / When we give our offering.”)

My intent was to write an upbeat worship song along the lines of “Let the World Sing Gloria” (but faster, around 𝅘𝅥 = 144), but it works with a mellower feel too. I don’t have a real recording, but I do have a Finale-generated mp3 of the moderately over-the-top orchestration I did for last year’s Advent IV service!

“Take Up the Story,” music and arrangement by Erin K. Maher

Check out my Payhip store to purchase PDFs of “Take Up the Story” and my other church music. The music is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
, and one purchase authorizes you to make as many copies as you need for personal and worship use.