Christmas Hymn Story: In Dulci Jubilo
“In dulci jubilo” means in sweet rejoicing in Latin. The original text is believed to have been written around 1328 by Heinrich Seuse, a German mystic.
According to folklore, “Seuse heard angels sing these words and joined them in a dance of worship.”
The tune first appears in a manuscript dating around 1400. Many historians believe the melody may have existed in Europe prior to this date.
It is believed Martin Luther may have added another verse in 1545.
Numerous translations have been made of the Latin/German poem into English. John Mason Neale made a loose translation in 1853 titled “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”.
Another popular translation is Arthur T. Russell’s “Now Sing We, Now Rejoice.”
“A 2008 survey by BBC Music Magazine found this to be the second most popular choral Christmas carol with British cathedral organists and choirmasters.