Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending

A hymn that draws from various sources for both its text and tune, “Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending” owes its textual origins to John Cennick (1718-1755), an Anglican-turned-Methodist-turned-Moravian evangelist and hymn writer who published the text in his Collection of Sacred Hymns (1752). It was republished, with significant alterations, by Charles Wesley (1707-1788) in 1758, and it is Wesley’s text that is most well-known today.

Martin Madan (1726-1790) published Wesley’s text to the tune he named “Helmsley” in Collection of Psalms and Hymn Tunes Sung at the Chapel of Lock Hospital (1763). John Wesley (Charles’ brother, 1703-1791) attributed the tune to his friend and assistant Thomas Olivers in Sacred Melody (1765). However, Olivers was said to have heard it sung in the streets of London; and because it resembles a tune by violinist and composer Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778), it has been speculated that it was composed by Arne. Perhaps, though, it is simply an English traditional tune with folk origins.

In this arrangement for unison voices (choir and/or congregation), organ, and trombone, three verses are presented — verses 1 and 3 from Wesley’s hymn, verse 2 by Cennick — with an introduction by trombone/organ, interlude before verse 3 by trombone/organ, and trombone descant on verse 3.

Upon purchase, you may download and print the organ/voices score and trombone part, then make additional copies for singers in a quantity sufficient for your ensemble. Please see our Copyright page for additional information.

Organ/voices score, trombone part — $7.99

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