When the white stars talk together like sisters
And when the winter hills
Raise their grand semblance in the freezing night,
Somewhere one window
Bleeds like the brown eye of an open force.
White stars that stand above the eastern stable.
Look down and offer Him.
The dim adoring light of your belief.
Whose small Heart bleeds with infinite fire.
Shall not this Child
(When we shall hear the bells of His amazing voice)
Conquer the winter of our hateful century?
And when His Lady Mother leans upon the crib,
Lo, with what rapiers
Those two loves fence and flame their brilliancy!
Here in this straw lie planned the fires
That will melt all our sufferings:
He is our Lamb, our holocaust!
And one by one the shepherds, with their snowy feet,
Stamp and shake out their hats upon the stable dirt,
And one by one kneel down to look upon their Life.
Blessèd are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
eternal Creator of day and night,
to you be glory and praise for ever!
As we look for your coming in glory,
wash away our transgressions,
cleanse us by your refining fire
and make us temples of your Holy Spirit. By the light of Christ,
dispel the darkness of our hearts
and make us ready to enter your kingdom,
where songs of praise for ever sound,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessèd be God for ever!
— Celebrating common prayer.
Maurice Denis. Visitation in blue, 1894
Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1.39-43).
A troparion from the Byzantine Paramoun of the Nativity sung by Melikite chanters.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.