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December carillon tune: “Wake, Awake, For Night Is Flying! 

Each month, University Chaplaincy adds a new carillon tune for all on the Medford/Somerville campus to hear. Listen for the tune at 5 pm on weekdays. Click the title to learn more about Wake, Awake, For Night Is Flying!

In observation of the Christian season of Advent, the Tufts carillon plays a well-known Advent tune, “Wake, awake, for night is flying,” or “Wachet auf” in the original German.  Pastor Philip Nicolai wrote both text and tune in response to a serious epidemic which killed hundreds of his parishioners in 1597.  He included it in a collection of meditations meant to comfort sufferers of the epidemic, in addition to his intent that it function as a “token of my peaceful, joyful, Christian departure” should he also succumb.  The hymn text refers to the Watchman mentioned in Isaiah 52:8, awaiting the return of Zion, as well as the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) awaiting the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ).  J. S. Bach used the tune as the basis for one of his most-beloved organ pieces, also called “Wachet auf! Rufts uns die Stimme.”

To learn more about the carillon, or University Chaplaincy musical opportunities, please contact Music Director Janet Hunt.