Thursday, December 24, 2015

"That He would redeem us by His Son"

I always enjoy listening to Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve day. Today's came from King's College, Cambridge. I've heard these carols throughout the years and, for many of them, this is the only time I hear them. One, in particular, stood out. The words. The message. The tune.

Ralph Vaughan Williams arranged the tune known now as "Herefordshire," and I just love it. But, I think it is too difficult for most to sing, so it's not in many hymnbooks. You can listen to it here. What a reminder of something so familiar!

Then I was stuck by the concluding prayer. The all-too-familiar nativity often shadows the offices of redeemer and judge.

O GOD, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance
of the birth of thy only son, Jesus Christ: 
Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our redeemer, 
so we may with sure confidence behold him, 
when he shall come to be our judge; 
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, 
world without end.

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