Singing with Angels: a Christmas Eve Poem

Hear the angel’s song tonight:
glimmering harmonies,
glorias gliding in the air like snowflakes,
glorias glancing off gleaming eyes,
glorias glowing in gladsome, gladful hearts.
That glorious melody, full of earth peace,
so rich tonight, so full-fleshed,
it pierces to the deep heart’s core
and opens there, like a rose, blooming.

Loaded with melody, melodious we go
into our surroundsound society
that marches to a different drum.
Life’s discord, sin’s unholy racket,
rises and lifts with jackhammer insistence,
its wild rhythm chaining us, paining us.
When the clash and clang, the babel and bang
of our real world threatens to extinguish us,
God of great gifts,
keep the angel’s song alive.
Teach us their tune by heart.
We would sing gloria in terror’s grip,
gloria as cruelty scars all that’s good,
gloria as hope lies broken and battered
and all we love seems lost or left behind.

That angel song, strong as the morning star,
threads through every thundering storm with strains of joy.
The first-born gloria sung to shepherds sustains us
as it sustained that long ago Christmas couple.
We carry it in our hearts on the long road to Egypt,
we cling to it at every Calvary,
and its notes burst the bedrock of our disbelief
as Jesus is born again
who knows how
in the hearts of those
who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
With angels we sang, we sing, we will sing,
the age-old, age-long chorus to
Immanuel, God still with us.
Gloria! Gloria!

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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