Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Christmas Carols - 15

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Her Majesty The Queen chose this setting of the carol at the conclusion of her broadcast on Christmas Day. Indeed, she quoted the words of the final verse and suggested that we meditate on them.

At the Sung Eucharist celebrated in the Chapel Royal on the Feast of the Epiphany, Her Majesty sent gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to be offered on the altar in addition to the usual gifts of bread and wine.

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