#OnlineCarols14 17: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear — @artsyhonker and Alexandra

1. It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven’s all-gracious King” –
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

2. Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel-sounds
The blessed angels sing.

3. And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing; –
Oh, rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing!

4. But with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love song which they bring; –
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing!

5. For lo! the days are hastening on
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever circling years
Shall come the age of gold;
When Peace shall over all the earth,
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song,
Which now the angels sing.

Angels

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#OnlineCarols14 16: Seventh Lesson from Luke 2: 8–16 — @timbobagginsii

read by @timbobagginsii

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.

Photographs of angels (St Mary’s, Nuneaton and Rug Chapel, Llangollen) courtesy of John Hardy.

#OnlineCarols14 15: Carol H: I Sing of a Mayden — @ellythefolk


I syng of a mayden
þat is makeles,
kyng of alle kynges
to here sone che ches.

He came also stylle
þer his moder was
as dew in aprylle,
þat fallyt on þe gras.

He cam also stylle
to his moderes bowr
as dew in aprille,
þat fallyt on þe flour.

He cam also stylle
þer his moder lay
as dew in Aprille,
þat fallyt on þe spray.;

Moder & mayden
was neuer non but che –
wel may swych a lady
Godes moder be.

Translation:

I sing of a maiden
Who is matchless,
The king of all kings
She chose as her son.

He came so softly
To where his mother was,
Like the dew in April
That falls on the grass.

He came so softly
To his mother’s bower,
Like the dew in April
That falls on the flower.

He came so softly
To where his mother lay,
Like the dew in April
That falls on the blossom.

There was never anyone but she
Who was both mother and maiden!
Well may such a lady
Be the mother of God.

Photograph: by Biljuvarghese (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

 

#OnlineCarols14 14: Sixth Lesson from Luke 2: 1; 3–7 — Catriona Mackay

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

New International Version, read by Catriona Mackay

Kabala mother
Photo by John Atherton [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

#OnlineCarols14 13: Come, thou Redeemer of the earth — @artsyhonker

1. Come, Thou Redeemer of the earth,
And manifest Thy virgin birth:
Let every age adoring fall;
Such birth befits the God of all.

2. Begotten of no human will,
But of the Spirit, Thou art still
The Word of God in flesh arrayed,
The Saviour, now to man displayed.

3. The virgin womb that burden gained
With virgin honour all unstained;
The banners there of virtue glow;
God in His temple dwells below.

4. Forth from that chamber goeth He,
That royal home of purity,
A giant in twofold substance one,
Rejoicing now His course to run.

5. From God the Father He proceeds,
To God the Father back He speeds;
Runs out His course to death and hell,
Returns on God’s high throne to dwell.

6. O equal to the Father, Thou!
Gird on Thy fleshly mantle now;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

7. Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
And darkness glow with new-born light,
No more shall night extinguish day,
Where love’s bright beams their power display.

8. O Jesu, Virgin-born, to thee
Eternal praise and glory be,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Spirit, evermore. Amen.

Words: St Ambrose (240-97), translated J.M. Neale (1818-66) and others
Music: Melody adapted by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), harmony improvised by Kathryn Rose.

#OnlineCarols14 12: Fifth Lesson from the Gospel of Luke 1: 26–38 — @Catherine1Rev

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’
But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’
Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’
The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’
Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Lorenzo Monaco (circa 1370–circa 1425) - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.

Lorenzo Monaco (circa 1370–circa 1425) – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.

#OnlineCarols14 11: O radix Jesse — @UnShaunSheep

O radix Jesse (O root of Jesse)

LATIN: O Radix Jesse,
qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

ENGLISH: O Root of Jesse,
who stands as a sign to the peoples,
before you, kings will be struck quite dumb
to you all nations shall make their prayer:
come and deliver us, do not keep us waiting

Composed by Nick Morgan for Online Carols 2014
Performed by Kate, Susie, Imogen and Nick Morgan
Images and production by Joe Priestley.