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"There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees,

even Nativity scenes all decked out while the world

continues to wage war... Its all a charade. The world has not
understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war."
-Pope Francis

Once Our Forebears Watched and Waited

text: Michael Joncas

music: Irby

Once our forebears watched and waited Down the ages, year on year,
Hoping that the One long-promised In their lifetime might appear,
Choosing in their midst to dwell, God with them, Emmanuel.
Prophets visions mapped the journey Down the stony path they trod
Slavry, freedom, exile, wandring Searching for the reign of God.
Faithful, faithless, human throng, Caught, surprised, by angel-song.
Could it be that in a manger Here where ox and ass would feed
Lies the One True Bread from heaven, Word assuaging human need,
Past forgiven, future fresh, Child of wonder, Love in flesh?
Journeys end provokes new journeys: Wondring joy makes shepherds swift;
Magi from the East come riding Bearing gifts for Gods own Gift:
Human, God, and king enfold Myrrh and frankincense and gold.
Then the child became the journey, He the way, the truth, the life,
Left behind the years of growing For the world of pain and strife,
Plunged beneath the Jordans waves With the sinners whom he saves.
Through these days of Advent longing, Through our Christmastide desire,
Come, transform us, Holy Mystry, Open hearts, ignite your fire.
Let your Word our lives illume: Sear us, God, let Love consume.

Gabriels Message

trad. Basque
tr. Sabine Baring-Gould

The Cherry Tree Carol

trad. Appalachian

When Joseph was an old man, An old man was he,

He courted our Mary, The Queen of Galilee. (2x)
And when he had wedded her, And home had her brought,
Mary proved to be with child, But Joseph knew her not. (2x)

MEN: Then Joseph and Mary Were a-walking in the grove,

They saw cherries and berries, As red as any rose. (2x)
WOMEN: And Mary said to Joseph In words meek and mild
Gather me some cherries, Joseph, For I am with Child. (2x)
MEN: But Joseph said to Mary In words so unkind,
Let him gather thee cherries, Mary, Who brought thee with child. (2x)

Then Jesus spoke unto the tree, From within his mothers womb,
Bow down, thou cherry tree For my mother to have some. (2x)

MEN: And the highest branches bent as low As Mother Marys knee,
And she gathered of the cherries by one, two and three. (2x)
WOMEN: Then Mary had a young son Which she dandled on her knee,
And she said unto her fair child, What shall this world be? (2x)

This world, he said, Is no other Than the stones in the street;

But the sun, moon and stars, Shall sail under thy feet. (2x)

Reading: Of the Nativity

The Mother of God

John of the Cross,

tr. John Frederick Nims
text: W.B. Yeats
music: Roger Stratton

The threefold terror of love, a fallen flare

Through the hollow of an ear;
Wings beating about the room;
The terror of all terrors that I bore
The Heavens in my womb.
Had I not found content among the shows
Every common woman knows,
Chimney corner, garden walk,
Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes
And gather all the talk?
What is this flesh I purchased with my pains,
This fallen star my milk sustains,
This love that makes my heart's blood stop
Or strikes a sudden chill into my bones
And bids my hair stand up?


Christian Cosas

Friends in Christ, Rejoice

text: Rory Cooney

music: trad. French

Friend in Christ, rejoice! Hope and healing bring!

Angels all around us, Peace on earth! they sing.
Noel! sing the angels, Noel! be our song,
For this baby small and weak is born to stand against the strong.
Noel, noel, noel! Sing the news with awe!
Like no god we had imagined is the baby in the straw.
Friends, approach the manger, leave aside your fear.
Immigrant and exile, all are welcome here.
Noel! sing the shepherds cast aside no more,
For the child for whom we had no room has opened every door.
Noel, noel, noel! Sing the news with awe!
Like no god we had imagined is the baby in the straw.
Friends beyond the circle, friends from east and west,
Led by star to light, here finally take your rest.
Noel! sing the Magi, Noel! sing the wise,
For the visions fire, your hearts desire, is right before your eyes!
Noel, noel, noel! Sing the news with awe!
Like no god we had imagined is the baby in the straw.
Noel, noel, noel! Noel sing alway,
For the God we thought so distant sighs and startles in the hay.
Noel, noel, noel! Sing the news with awe!
Like no god we had imagined is the baby in the straw.

Reading: The Flight

O Poor Little Jesus

George Szirtes

trad. Spiritual,
arr. Christopher Willcock

O poor little Jesus, this world gonna break your heart,

Therell be no place to lay your head, my Lord,
O poor little Jesus.
O Mary she the mother, O Mary she bow down and cry
For theres no place to lay your head, my Lord,
O poor little Jesus.
Come down, all you holy angels, sing round him with your golden harps,
For someday he will die to save the world,
O poor little Jesus.

Make a Home Now

Orin Johnson
based on Aurelia

Reading: Luke 2:41-50

The Blessed Virgins Expostulation

text: Nahum Tate

music: Henry Purcell
Tell me, some pitying angel, quickly say, Where does my soul's sweet darling stay,
In tiger's, or more cruel Herod's way? O! rather let his tender footsteps press
Unregarded through the wilderness, Where milder savages resort:
The desert's safer than a tyrant's court.
Why, fairest object of my love, Why dost thou from my longing eyes remove?
Was it a waking dream that did foretell Thy wondrous birth? no vision from above?
Where's Gabriel now that visted my cell? I call; he comes not; flatt'ring hopes, farewell.
Me Judah's daughters once caress'd, Call'd me of mothers the most bless'd;
Now (fatal change!) of mothers most distress'd. How shall my soul its motions guide,
How shall I stem the various tide, Whilst faith and doubt my lab'ring thoughts divide?
For whilst of thy dear sight I am beguil'd, I trust the God, but oh! I fear the child.

Reading: I Saw a Stable

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

Here Is the Little Door

text: Frances Chesterton

music: Herbert Howells
Here is the little door, lift up the latch, oh lift!
We need not wander more, but enter with our gift;
Our gift of finest gold. Gold that was never bought or sold;
Myrrh to be strewn about his bed; Incense in clouds about His head;
All for the child that stirs not in His sleep, But holy slumber hold with ass and sheep.
Bend low about His bed, For each He has a gift;
See how His eyes awake, Lift up your hands, O lift!
For gold, He gives a keen-edged sword. (Defend with it thy little Lord!)
For incense, smoke of battle red, Myrrh for the honored happy dead;
Gifts for His children, terrible and sweet; Touched by such tiny hands,
and Oh such tiny feet

Blessing of the Door

Come Sing a Home and Family

text: Alan Hommerding

music: Forest Green

Verse 1 All / Verse 2 Women / Verse 3 Men / Verse 4 - All

Reading: Epiphany

Walter Brueggemann

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
release the prisoner,
rebuild the nations, bring peace to all,
bring peace over all the earth,
to make music in the heart.

text: Howard Thurman

music: Roger Stratton

Good Christians Friends, Rejoice

In Dulci Jubilo
adapted by Marty Haugen

Good Christian friends, rejoice With heart and soul and voice!
O give heed to what we say: Jesus Christ is born today!
Ox and ass before him bow, And he is in the manger now!
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!
Good Christian friends, rejoice With heart and soul and voice!
Raise your weary hearts and see: Jesus Christ has come to free!
When the captives find release, In feet that bring the word of peace,
Christ has come to free! Christ has come to free!
Good Christian friends, rejoice With heart and soul and voice!
In the kind and just and true Jesus Christ is born anew!
In the lowly, weak and poor, The humble stranger at our door,
Christ is born anew! Christ is born anew!
Good Christian friends, rejoice With heart and soul and voice!
Still before us on the way, Jesus Christ is here today!
In the breaking of the bread, In life that cries out to the dead,
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!