Wednesday 19 December

Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.

Antiphon
O Radix Jesse

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
(cf Isaiah 11.10, 45.14, 52.15; Romans 15.12)

Readings (Click the links to see the readings)

Judges 13.2-7, 24-25 | Ps 71.17-21 | Luke 1.5-25

Carol
Thomas Merton

Flocks feed by darkness with a noise of whispers,
In the dry grass of pastures,
And lull the solemn night with their weak bells.

The little towns upon the rocky hills
Look down as meek as children:
Because they have seen come this holy time.

God's glory, now, is kindled gentler than low candlelight
Under the rafters of a barn:
Eternal Peace is sleeping in the hay,
And Wisdom's born in secret in a straw-roofed stable.

And O! Make holy music in the stars, you happy angels.
You shepherds, gather on the hill.
Look up, you timid flocks, where the three kings
Are coming through the wintry trees;

While we unnumbered children of the wicked centuries
Come after with our penances and prayers,
And lay them down in the sweet-smelling hay
Beside the wise men's golden jars.

Prayer

Eternal God,
as Mary waited for the birth of your Son,
so we wait for his coming in glory;
bring us through the birth pangs of this present age
to see, with her, our great salvation
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gaugin

"God's glory, now, is kindled gentler than low candlelight under the rafters of a barn."

Paul Gauguin. Christmas night. 1894, Pont-Aven, France. Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Joseph Haydn. Die Schöfung / The Creation. Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes / The Heavens Declare the Glory of God (Ps. 19). Klaas Stok conducts the Nederlands Chamber Choir and Concerto d'Amsterdam, with Johanette Zomer (soprano), Marcel Beekman (tenor) and AndrĂ© Morsch (baritone) in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

Chorus: The heavens are telling the glory of God.
The wonder of his works displays the firmament.
Soloists: To day, that is coming, speaks it the day;
the night, that is gone, to following night.
Chorus: The heavens are telling the glory of God.
The wonder of works displays the firmament.
Soloists: In all the land resounds the word,
never unperceived, ever understood.
Chorus: The heavens are telling the glory of God.
The wonder of his works displays the firmament.


May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.