Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Come Ye Lofty, Come Ye Lowly

Come, ye lofty, come, ye lowly,
Let your songs of gladness ring;
In a stable lies the Holy,
In a manger rests the King:
See in Mary’s arms reposing
Christ by highest Heav’n adored:
Come, your circle round Him closing,
Pious hearts that love the Lord.

Come ye poor, no pomp of station
Robes the Child your hearts adore;
He, the Lord of all salvation,
Shares your want, is weak and poor:
Oxen, round about behold them;
Rafters naked, cold, and bare,
See the shepherds, God has told them
That the Prince of Life lies there.

Come, ye children, blithe and merry,
This one Child your model make;
Christmas holly, leaf, and berry,
All be prized for His dear sake:
Come ye gentle hearts and tender,
Come ye spirits keen and bold;
All in all your homage render,
Weak and mighty, young and old.

High above a star is shining,
And the wise men haste from far:
Come, glad hearts, and spirits pining—
For you all has ris’n the star.
Let us bring our poor oblations,
Thanks and love, and faith and praise;
Come, ye people, come, ye nations,
All in all draw nigh to gaze.

Hark the Heav’n of heav’ns is ringing:
Christ the Lord to man is born!
Are not all our hearts, too, singing,
Welcome, welcome, Christmas morn?
Still the Child, all power possessing,
Smiles as through the ages past;
And the song of Christmas blessing
Sweetly sinks to rest at last.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Advent Carol

We Sing to Thee, Immanuel
Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1656; trans by F.E. Cox, 1865
Music: Gregory Wilbur, 2004

We sing to Thee, Immanuel,
The Prince of life, salvation’s Well,
The Plant of Heaven, the Star of morn,
The Lord of Lords, the Virgin-born.
All glory, worship, thanks and praise,
That Thou art come in these our days!
Thou Heavenly Guest expected long,
We hail Thee with a joyful song.

For Thee, since first the world was made,
Men’s hearts have waited, watched and prayed;
Prophets and patriarchs, year by year,
Have longed to see Thy light appear.
O God!⎯they prayed⎯from Sion rise,
And hear Thy captive people’s cries;
At length, O Lord! salvation bring:
Then Jacob shall rejoice and sing.

Now Thou, by whom the world was made,
Art in Thy manger-cradle laid;
Maker of all things great, art small,
Naked Thyself, though clothing all.
Thou, who both heaven and earth dost sway,
In strangers’ inn art fain to stay;
And though Thy power makes angels blest,
Dost seek Thy food from human breast.

Encouraged, thus, our love grows bold
On Thee to lay our steadfast hold;
The cross which Thou didst undergo
Has vanquished death and healed our woe.
Thou art our Head: then, Lord, of Thee,
True, living members we will be;
And, in the strength Thy grace shall give,
Will live as Thou wouldst have us live.

As each short year goes quickly round,
Ou Hallelujahs shall resound;
And, when we reckon years no more,
May we in Heaven Thy Name adore!

The Decline of Reading

The New Yorker has a thought-provoking article about the "Twilight of Books" that is worth reading.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Advent Carol

The choir at Parish Presbyterian sang this text as part of our Lessons and Carols service on December 9.

When Jordan hushed his waters still,
And silence slept on Zion’s hill;
When Salem’s shepherds through the night
Watched o’er their flocks by starry light,
Hark! From the midnight hills around,
A voice, of more than mortal sound,
In distant hallelujahs stole,
Wild murmuring o’er the raptured soul.

The swift to ev’ry startled eye,
New beams of glory gild the sky;
Heav’n bursts her azure gates,
to pour Her spirits to the midnight hour.
On wheels of light, on wings of flame,
The glorious hosts to Zion came;
High heav’n with songs of triumph rung,
While thus they smote their harps and sung:

O Zion! Lift thy raptured eye:
The long-expected hour is nigh;
The joys of nature rise again;
The Prince of Salem comes to reign.
See Mercy, from her golden urn,
Pours a rich stream on them that mourn;
Behold, she binds, with tender care,
The bleeding bosom of Despair.

He comes to cheer the trembling heart,
Bid Satan and his host depart;
Again the Daystar gilds the gloom,
Again the bowers of Eden bloom.
O Zion! Lift thy raptured eye:
The long-expected hour is nigh;
The joys of nature rise again;
The Prince of Salem comes to reign.

Text: Thomas Campbell, 1777-1844