O Earendel, brightest of angels,
sent to mankind over middle-earth,
righteous sun's radiance,
splendid above all stars! Of thine own self
thou ever enlightenest every age.
As thou, God born of God long ago,
Son of the true Father, eternally existed
without beginning in the glory of heaven,
so thine own creation cry with confidence
to thee now for their needs, that thou send
that bright sun to us, and come thyself
to lighten those who long have lived,
surrounded by shadows and darkness, here
in everlasting night; who, shrouded by sins,
have had to endure death's dark shadow.
Now, hope-filled, we look for healing,
brought to the world's people through the word of God,
who was in the beginning with the almighty Father
equally eternal with God, and now became
flesh, free of failings, born of the virgin,
a support to the sorrowful. God was with us,
seen without sin; together dwelt
the mighty Measurer's child and the son of man,
at peace among the people. We may ever address
our thanks to the lord of victory for his deeds,
because he chose to send himself to us.
—Translated by 'A Clerk of Oxford' in 2012 from part of an anonymous Old English poetic version of the O antiphons, known as the 'Advent lyrics' or Christ I, written some time before the tenth century.
As we wait for the coming of Jesus Christ,
kindle your light in our hearts
to keep us watchful and hopeful,
to open our lives to Christ's coming in many ways through all our days
—even in the least expected ways,
to witness to Christ's ministry and love to our neighbours,
to work together for peace and reconciliation with our neighbours,
to pray for our concerns in this congregation and in our lives.
In the name of Christ.
Look, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice." Song of Songs 2:9
James Tissot (1836 – 1902) Jesus Looking through a Lattice, 1886-94, Brooklyn Museum, New York
Healey Willan. Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One. The Capital Chamber Choir, directed by Jamie Lobak.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.