O Gates Lift Up Your Heads

Michael J. Miller

O lift your heads, reach up, you gates!
The King of glory comes and waits:
   The King of kings, the Lord of all,
   And Savior of a world in thrall.
Salvation, life He comes to bring.
Rejoice, therefore, and with us sing:
   All praise to you, my God,
   Creator from of old.

A righteous Lord, our help is He.
His retinue is clemency;
   His royal crown is holiness;
   His scepter is His will to bless.
He puts an end to languishing.
Rejoice, therefore, and with us sing:
   All praise to You, my God,
   My Savior true and bold.

O happy land, O city blest,
Wherein this King may dwell as guest!
   For there the happiest hearts have been,
   By whom this King is welcomed in.
He is the sun of righteousness,
Who brings true joy and happiness.
   All praise to You, my God,
   My heart you have consoled.

Come, Jesus Christ, O come with grace!
The door is open; take Your place
   Within my heart; my failings mend.
    O come, my Savior and my Friend!
And may Your Holy Spirit show
The way to Heav’n that we should go.
   Your Name be praised, O Lord;
   Forever be adored!

*The original German version of this hymn, “Mach hoch die Tür”, based on Psalm 24:7-10, appeared in the Halle’sches Gesangbuch, 1704.

Michael J. Miller, who lives in suburban Philadelphia, is a freelance translator, editor and writer. He has translated books by Cardinals Ratzinger, Brandmüller and Schönborn for Ignatius Press.