The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. O come, let us worship. Alleluia
Readings (Click the links to see the readings)
The Adoration of the Magi,
tapestry, wool and silk on cotton,
Manchester Metropolitan University,
designed by Edward Burne Jones with details by William Morris and John Henry Dearle, 1888. Woven 1894.
Tomorrow is the Epiphany, when we celebrate the light of Christ revealed.
Your nativity, O Christ our God,
has shed the light of knowledge upon the world.
those who had been star-worshipers
learned through a star to worship you,
O Sun of Justice,
and to recognize in you the one who rises
and who comes from on high.
O Lord, glory to you!
—Feast of the Nativity Liturgy
Tomás Luis de Victoria. O quam gloriosum est regnum (1572). Ensemble Plus Ultra, dir. Michael Noone. Real Iglesia de San Andrés Apóstol, Madrid.
O quam gloriosum est regnum,
in quo cum Christo gaudent omnes Sancti!
Amicti stolis albis,
O how glorious is the kingdom
in which all the saints rejoice with Christ,
clad in robes of white
they follow the Lamb
wherever he goes.
W.H. Auden. For the Time Being
Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes—
Some have got broken—and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week—
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted—quite unsuccessfully—
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid's geometry
And Newton's mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
May the Lord, who has called out of darkness into his marvellous light, bless us and fill us with peace. Amen.