Loving Father, help us to remember the story of Christ's birth,
so that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds
and the wisdom of the wise men.
Close the doors of hate and open the door of love in our lives.
Let kindness accompany every gift we give
and good wishes enrich every greeting we exchange.
Deliver us from selfishness by the blessing which Christ alone can bring,
and teach us to be glad with a pure heart,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Robert Louis Stevenson
Michael Praetorius. Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen. 1609. Monteverdi Choir.
1. Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
Amid the cold of winter, when half spent was the night
2. Isaiah 'twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior, when half spent was the night.
3. The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
And in the manger found Him, as angel heralds said
4. This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us, and lightens every load.
5. O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray,
To the bright courts of Heaven, and to the endless day!
May the Lord, who has called out of darkness into his marvellous light, bless us and fill us with peace. Amen.