Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing


The only British stamp ever to celebrate Methodism was this 19p Christmas issue of 1999. The stamp was part of a series of four released by Royal Mail entitled "The Christian's Tale," celebrating the previous 1,000 years of Christian experience in Britain. American-born artist Brody Neuenschwander, an internationally renowned calligrapher living in Belgium, designed the stamp.

The stamp design incorporated a mixture of written texts and image, an approach for which Neuenschwander is particularly well known. As part of his research into the Wesleys, the artist visited John Wesley's Chapel in London as well as Wesley College in Bristol. One of the chapel's stained-glass angels served as inspiration for the stamp.

Hark! the herald angels sing,

"Glory to the new born King, peace on earth, and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled!"

Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies;

with th' angelic host proclaim,

"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the new born King!"

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