Good Christian Men, Rejoice – The Christmas Carol Meant to Encourage

It was the 14th century, a dark time where poverty and hopelessness were extremely common. However, the Suso family was doing ok in the finance department. They had the means for their son Heinrich to become part of the ruling class. but he had other plans. Heinrich had seen the suffering and injustice experienced by the common man and wanted to make a difference in their lives and in the world. So, instead of living the life of luxury available to him, Heinrich became a Dominican monk and worked his hardest to lift the spirits of those people he knew who had very little cause to rejoice about anything. Strangely enough, this was not a common practice of most clergy at the time and Heinrich received a good deal of persecution. 

Good Christian Men, Rejoice was an attempt by Heinrich Suso to encourage those suffering throughout the world. The lyrics were originally in Latin, then quickly translated to German. The song is a true folk song which has been translated and modified in various languages and cultures. Once, it was even reported from Moravian missionaries in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that the song was sung in thirteen different European and Native American languages in one gathering.

Even though Good Christian Men, Rejoice is ancient and has run the gambit, its message is everlasting to men (and women) of all nations: 

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice!

Give ye heed to what we say: Jesus Christ is born today!

Ox and ass before Him bow, and He is in the manger now;

Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice!

Now ye hear of endless bliss; Jesus Christ was born for this!

He hath ope’d the heav’nly door, and man is blessed evermore.

Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice!

Now ye need not fear the grave; Jesus Christ was born to save!

Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.

Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

Click here to hear Good Christian Men, Rejoice by Reawaken Hymns

*Image courtesy of Kolby Milton

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