Friday, December 03, 2004

Christmas Carols

I've been perusing The Penguin Book of Carols by Ian Bradley this season. Some people will remember Ian from his book Celtic Christian Communities, which I highly recommend.

Anyway, he provides short stories on the background on a variety of Christmas hymns. And he reminds us that new carols are still being written. As an example, Bradley offers a little gem from contemporary hymnist Timothy Dudley-Smith. Here is a carol that Smith origninally wrote for a Christmas card in the late 70s. I enjoyed and hopefully you will to.

A Song Was Heard At Christmas

A song was heard at Christmas
To wake the midnight sky:
A saviour's birth, and peace on earth,
And praise to God on high.
The angels sang at Christmas
With all the hosts above,
And still we sing the newborn King
His glory and his love.

A star was seen at Christmas,
A herald and a sign,
That men might know the way to go
To find the child divine.
The wise men watched at Christmas
In some far eastern land,
And still the wise in starry skies
Discern their Maker's hand.

A tree was grown at Christmas,
A sapling green and young:
No tinsel bright with candlelight
Upon its branches hung.
But he who came at Christmas
Our sins and sorrow bore,
And still we name his tree of shame
Our life forevermore.

A child was born at Christmas
When Christmas first began:
The Lord of all a baby small,
The Son of God made man.
For love is ours at Christmas,
And life and light restored,
And so we praise through endless days
The Saviour, Christ the Lord.

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