Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sing Christmas: Dec 23

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
come, and behold him,
born the King of angels;

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

God of God, Light of Light,
lo! he abhors not the Virgin's womb;
Very God, begotten, not created:

See how the shepherds,
Summoned to his cradle
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear
We too will thither
bend our joyful footsteps:

Lo! Star-led chieftains,
Magi, Christ adoring
Offer him incense, gold and myrrh
We to the Christ Child
Bring our hearts oblations

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
glory to God, glory in the highest;

For Christmas Day
Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;

origin unknown

trans. John Francis Wade  1711-1786


This carol, originally in Latin (Adeste Fidelis) has been attributed to many authors, from a Portuguese king, to a group of Cistercian monks, to St Bonaventura. It may, however, have been an original composition in Latin by John Francis Wade (1711 –1786) a Catholic hymn writer. We shall probably never know!
It’s a carol that is full of movement, as the various characters in the Christmas story come to the scene of Christ’s birth.. The emphasis of the carol, though is that this is not just something that happened long ago and far away, but movement we are also called to join in with. “We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps”. Christ was not just born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, but is also born now, in our world and in our lives. If we want to be part of the kingdom of God, says this carol, we need to be prepared to be on the move. If we seek him we will find him today in prayer, in one another and in those in need whom we are called to serve.

·         Looking back at your life, how have you had to move (geographically, emotionally and spiritually) in it? Are you the same person now that you were a decade ago?
·         How has your faith changed over the years?

Bible Reading: Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ John 8.12

Or, for those who prefer the more popular descant, here is this version (rather slow for my tastes).

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