Merrie Christmass

nativity14cI convey my Christmas greeting to all those to whom I have not been able to write individually. May this feast of the Nativity renew the joy and hope of Christ in us all.

All hosts, above, beneath,

Sing the incarnate Lord,
With instruments and pious breath

Attune each measured word.
This is the hallow’d morn

When on our fallen race
In full effulgence rose the dawn

Of new-born joy and grace.
Glory to God on high,

On this renowned night
Was thundered forth in harmony

By angel legions bright.
Amazing splendours shone

A strange unwonted sight
Upon the shepherds biding lone

Under the veil of night.
Sudden, while peacefully

They watch’d their sheep-folds still.
Good tidings wafted from on high

Their ears attentive fill.
Who was before all time

Is born of purest Maid;
Glory to God in heights sublime,

Peace comes the world to aid.
E’en thus the choir on high

Sings praises jubilant,
From pole to pole their voices fly,

Heaven echoes to their chant.
Let all with thrilling voice

Give back the glorious lay,
Let the wide universe rejoice,

That God is born this day.
Burst are the iron chains

Which held the world in thrall;
The cruel foe no longer reigns,

Peace is restored to all.
For lo ! an order new

Doth the glad world adorn ;
Let all things render praises due

Unto the Virgin-born.
He all upholds alone,

He all alone did frame ;
May he who hath such pity shown

Blot out our sin and shame.

Sequence of the Mass in gallicantu, translation by Canon Warren.

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