Here we have a photo of the Lutheran Church in Leeds at Christmas. A great city - the place of my birth! Our hymn today is a Christmas Carol written by Martin Luther, 1483-1546.
All praise to Thee, eternal God,
Who, clothed in garb of flesh and blood,
Dost take a manger for Thy throne,
While worlds on worlds are Thine alone.
Once did the skies before Thee bow;
A virgin's arms contain Thee now,
While angels, who in Thee rejoice,
Now listen for Thine infant voice.
A little Child, Thou art our Guest
That weary ones in Thee may rest;
Forlorn and lowly is Thy birth
That we may rise to heaven from earth.
Thou comest in the darksome night
To make us children of the light,
To make us in the realms divine,
Like Thine own angels, round Thee shine.
All this for us Thy love hath done;
By This to Thee our love is won;
For this our joyful songs we raise
And shout our thanks in ceaseless praise.
Those who know me will be aware that I love hymns with lots of alleluias! Indeed, the Easter Octave will see a festal series of blogs on this joyful word.
For those who follow the Old Rite, today is the final day before Easter to sing or say 'alleluia', for tomorrow is Septuagesima. As I follow the New Rite, I shall be keeping tomorrow as the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time and so have a few more days of alleluias to enjoy before Lent begins on 6 February. I have nothing against the Old Rite - indeed my own parish has an Old Rite Mass every Sunday, but going back to my Anglican days in the 1960's, I always found the idea of the 'gesimas' rather daft! Surely the two Roman Calendars should be brought into line with each other?