if you don't know this already, Beethoven originally wrote his 9th symphony and set it to a poem written by German poet Schiller. It was a huge tribute to joy in our human experience along with brotherly love, with a bit about Greek Gods thrown into the humanism. Nothing of real 'God' truth or praise in the original poem. It was this man, Henry van Dyke, who adapted a new text to the glorious music, which became our hymn "Joyful, Joyful." What thanks the church owes him, for attributing joy to the rightful giver, for us in human life and in the divine. I felt exactly as it says in the last stanza:"Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began." Last night I joined in!
"Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays.
Star and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest.
Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are Thine.
Teach us how to love each other; lift us to the joy divine.
Mortals, join the mighty chorus, which the morning stars began.
Love divine is reigning o'er us, leading us with mercy's hand.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife.
Joyful music leads us sonward, in the triumph song of life!"
Have a joy filled day!