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Advent

Today:  


The Vanguard -- Our Current Newsletter

The word Advent comes to us from the Latin meaning “to reach, arrive, to come.” The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Christian year; the first Sunday of Advent is the Christian New Year and falls on the Sunday nearest the feast of Saint Andrew {November 30th}. Advent covers the four Sundays preceding Christmastide. More at: http://www.allsaintsanglican.net/faith/seasons/advent/.

Placez-vous sur les chemins, regardez, Et demandez quels sont les anciens sentiers, Quelle est la bonne voie; marchez-y, Et vous trouverez le repos de vos âmes !

Excita, quæsumus, Domine, tuorum fidelium voluntates .... Stir up, O Lord, your faithful ...

A Complete
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January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December



Voix de celui qui clame le désert: « Préparez le chemin du Seigneur, rendez droits ses sentiers; tout ravin sera comblé, et toute montagne et colline seront abaissées; et les passages tortueux deviendront droits, et les chemins raboteux deviendront lisses; et toute chair verra le Salut de Dieu ». [Luk 3:4-6]

Lesson appointed for the Sunday next before Advent:

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up a righteous Branch to David; As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right on the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: The LORD our righteousness. Therefore, the days will come, says the LORD, when one shall no longer say, As the LORD lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but rather, As the LORD lives, who led the house of Israel up from the land of the north and from all the lands to which they were banished; these descendants shall again live on their own land. Jeremiah 23:5-8 {Jerome's Latin rendering}

Advent 2008 -- Good News in Cuba: Cuban President Raul Castro attended the country's first religious Mass for Beatification on Saturday, November 29th. Cardinal Jose Saravia Martins, a representative of Pope Benedict XVI, read the Apostolic Letter which acknowledged the Beatification of Friar Jose Olallo Valdes (1820-1889), a champion of Christian charity of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God. An orphan, Friar Olallo worked as surgeon and pharmacist serving the sick and the poor. The path to sainthood began in the The mass held at the Plaza de la Libertad or Plaza de la Caridad in the city of Camagüey, some 530 kilometers (329 miles) southeast of Havana. Herald Tribune The ceremony in Camaguey was broadcast on state television.

Earlier in the week, Japan's extraordinary but relatively unknown history of Christian persecution finally receiving official recognition with the Beatification of 188 martyrs (AP Story). The Rev. John Isao Hashimoto, one of the beatification ceremony's organizers, said the martyrs' history is a source of pride for Japanese. Although records show 4,000 or 5,000 Japanese were killed for refusing to give up their Christian faith, the true number could be 10 times that, Hashimoto said. Vatican sources have said that Pope Benedict XVI, who studied Cardinal Newman's writings as a theological student, was expected to announce Newman's Beatification in 2009, when the standard process is completed. Earlier this month, a casket containing Newman's remains, which include a lock of his hair and a piece of linen thought to be stained with his blood, was placed in the chapel of Saint Charles Borromeo at the English City of Birmingham Oratory. There they will remain while Beatification procedures are finalised in Rome (as reported in the London Times).

November 27, 2016: This feast day begins a new year (called Advent, in the Western Church), the liturgical Season before Christmas.
His Justice Revealed (Jeremiah 33:16) (week one of Advent)

Shew me Thy ways, O Lord;
[My Savior] teach me Thy paths.
Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me:
for Thou art the God of my salvation;
on Thee do I wait all the day.
Call to remembrance, O Lord,
Thy tender mercies and Thy lovingkindnesses;
for they have been ever of old.
Psalm 25:4-6 (KJV) - ad te, Domine, levavi
-lift up your hearts to the Lord [your God, your health and your salvation].

And, on the last day, I know that I shall stand, in my own flesh, and see God, my Redeemer [Job 19:25-27].

In celebration of this new year, think of a selection form Händel's Messiah based on traditional liturgy -- Comfort Ye, my People  It was Isaiah who was tasked to pass on the message of comfort to God's people. Think also of Psalm 23:4, “Thy rod and thy staff [they] comfort me.” This is a Coverdale translation, which has found its way into The Book of Common Prayer.

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
double for all her sins.
Isaiah 40.1,2 {Also Luke 2.25}
 

Consolez, consolez mon peuple. Parlez au cœur de Jérusalem et proclamez que son service est accompli, que son crime est pardonné, et qu'elle a reçu de la main du Seigneur double punition pour toutes ses fautes. Une voix proclame: « Préparez à travers le désert le chemin du Seigneur. Tracez dans les terres arides une route aplanie pour notre Dieu. Tout ravin sera comblé, toute montagne et toute colline seront abaissées, les passages tortueux deviendront droits et les escarpements seront changés en plaine. Alors la gloire du Seigneur se révélera et tous en même temps verront que la bouche du Seigneur a parlé » (Isaïe, XL 1-5).

Voi aussi Suite du saint Évangile de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ selon Saint Marc (I: 1-8).

News almost completely unnoticed: Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksy II was the first church leader since the outset of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to be chosen without interference by the Soviet state. The communists had killed clergy and believers and destroyed churches, yet it permitted a church hierarchy to exist under tight control. The Soviet Constitution provided the right to be free of religion in a secular state, but where necessary would use faith to unite its people against a common enemy. Aleksy II, who became patriarch in June 1990, significantly deepened the role of the church in Russia's everyday life - erecting and restoring cathedrals, introducing Orthodox religious education in public schools. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, within view of the Kremlin, was blown up on Stalin's orders in 1931, but rebuilt in the 1990s. During the war with Georgia in August 2008 over the breakaway region of South Ossetia, the Patriarch called for peace, reminding all Russians that Georgia was also a nation of Orthodox belief. Although only 10% of the population regularly attend services, 75% consider themselves to be Orthodox, including President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev. The seat of the Moscow Patriarchate is Moscow's Danilov Monastery, though founded first in Kiev (Ukraine) in 988.

Alesky was born Aleksei Mikhailovich Rudiger in Tallinn, Estonia on Feb. 23, 1929 to a father of Baltic German descent and a Russian mother. His childhood there passed in the brief period of Estonian independence before World War II. The small Baltic republic had become home to a large community of Russian émigrés and a Russian Orthodox spiritual center; then, the tanks came. Later, Soviets under Stalin took over. from International Herald Tribune Patriarch Aleksy II died just outside Moscow proper on December 5, 2008, at his suburban residence (ironically, a gift of Germany to Stalin during World War II).

The next to occupy the Patriarchal See of Moscow will be chosen by a local Synod, or gathering of Orthodox bishops. In 1990, one was convened about a month after the death of Aleksy's predecessor, Patriarch Pimen. Speculation about the new successor has begun. http://www.rferl.org/content/Kremlin_Aleksy_Successor/1356788.html The number of functioning Orthodox churches has grown from 6,800 in 1987, when Mikhail Gorbachev first signaled a loosening of the restrictions on religion, to 27,950 today. There were 19 monasteries then, 735 now. Charitable work by the church - prison ministries, halfway houses, nursing services, orphanages, free meals and the like - has blossomed and spread, while Church attendance has lessened. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/05/opinion/edschmemann.php

Watch and Wait - the Lord is Near

December 04, 2016 -- this begins the 2nd Week in Advent: Bible Sunday as it is sometimes called, examines the link between Advent and the Word of God exhibited in the Scriptures, an unmistakable link. The Collect calls on us to study the Scriptures, to hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them. The revelation of God, through His words in Scripture, reflects the full Revelation of God through His Word which became flesh {John 14:9-28]; the Holy City of God coming down so that He may dwell among His people. Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which You have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. http://www.sarahlaughed.net/lectionary/ (see second post)

On the second Sunday of Advent the second candle will be lighted across the world. This small light, commonly called the Candle of Peace, represents more than the common word of Peace means; it is the inward Peace that surpasseth understanding. Juxtaposed between this candle and its symbolism, is todays Gospel reading from Luke 21:25-33, which implies no peace at all. The scriptures known collectively as the Old Testament, talk about God's Peace and the consequences of its rejection -- For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not [Isaiah 30:15]."

I appointed watchmen over you and said,
‘Listen for the sound of the trumpet!’
But you said, ‘We will not listen.’

***

Therefore this is what the Lord says:
I will put obstacles [in the way] before this people.
Parents and children alike will stumble over them;
neighbors and friends shall perish.

(Jeremiah 6:17, 21)
Do you not know or have you not heard ?
The LORD is the eternal God,
Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint nor grow weary;
His knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting;
For the weak, he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary,
and youths stagger and fall,
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
They will soar as with eagles’ wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
Walk [in the hot sun or the waterless desert]
and not grow faint.

http://www.gleaningsfromscripture.com/on-eagles-wings-day-2/
[a reading from the 40th chapter of the book of Isaiah]

Zechariah 2:14-17 Shout for joy, Fair Zion!
For lo, I come; and I will dwell in your midst
— declares the LORD.
In that day many nations will attach themselves to the LORD
and become His people,
and He will dwell in your midst.
Then you will know that I was sent to you by the LORD of Hosts.
The LORD Will take Judah to Himself
as His portion in the Holy Land,
and He will choose Jerusalem once more.
Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD!
For He is roused from His holy habitation.
Zechariah 4:6b-7:
"This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit'
— said the LORD of Hosts.
What-so-ever you are,
O great mountain, in the path of Zerubbabel,
turn into level ground!
For he shall produce that excellent stone;
it shall be greeted with shouts of 'Beautiful! Beautiful!'"
[Shabat Readings for December 12, 2015 ]

[The LORD is near]

Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps

[Psalm 85:13].
To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of retribution of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them [beauty] a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise,
instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD,
in order that He may be glorified.
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
They will raise up the former devastations;
And they will repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations …
[Isaiah 61:2-4].

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob. This may be translated as "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob"

Third Sunday in Advent (December 11, 2016): During the second half of the season of Advent; The Lord is already near. Come, let us adore Him!. It is often said of the Second Sunday in Advent that it is about the true meaning of Jerusalem (although this analogy is not apparent necessarily from the 1928 Prayerbook readings for that day); today on the 3rd Sunday we are clearly urged to prepare the way for entry. From all sides the prophets alert the city to make itself ready for the arrival of the King of Peace; today His messenger announces -- He is almost there (at the city gates). Justice goes before Him, and salvation follows in His footsteps [cf. Psalm 81]. “It is no accident that the angel [Gabriel] makes his appearance within the holiest portion of the Temple at Jerusalem, for this announces the imminent coming (parousia) of the true Priest and prepares the heavenly sacrifice at which the angels will minister [St. Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.).” It was Gabriel who proclaimed to the prophet the time of the Messiah's adventus (see Daniel 8:15-26, 9:20-27). It is Isaiah {35:5} who says: “Then will the eyes of the blind be open, the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame will leap like a deer and the tongues of those who cannot speak will sing for joy!” But first, Prepare the way -- the message is repeated.

In addition, the historic Church has called this day Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word for Rejoice, and the historic liturgy calls us to rejoice over the coming birth. A Sunday of Lent is termed Lætare Sunday. The word Lætare is another Latin term for Rejoice, and here the Church is calling her people, in the middle of penance, to rejoice over the conquering of sin accomplished in the Paschal Mystery. The two terms themselves beg the question: Why two terms? In other words, from where do the phrases Gaudete Sunday and Laetare Sunday come? The answer is found in the Gregorian Propers. The first line of the Introit for the Third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete in Domino semper; iterum dico, gaudete or "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice !" The Introit (from Latin: introitus or "entrance") is part of the opening of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations. In its most complete version, it consists of an antiphon, psalm verse and Gloria Patri that is spoken or sung at the beginning of the celebration. It is part of the Proper of the liturgy; that is, the part that changes over the liturgical year.

*** *** ***
As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias [40:3-5] the prophet, saying,
The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
“Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low;
and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the Salvation of God.”
For this is the Word of the Lord
{dicit Dominus exercituum}.
vox clamantis in deserto parate viam Domini rectas facite in solitudine semitas Dei nostri omnis vallis exaltabitur et omnis mons et collis humiliabitur et erunt prava in directa et aspera in vias planas et revelabitur gloria Domini et videbit omnis caro pariter quod os Domini locutum est


“Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, in whom ye delight: behold, He advanceth, saith the Lord of hosts.” [ecce ego mittam angelum meum et præparabit viam ante faciem meam et statim veniet ad templum suum dominator quem vos quæritis et angelus testamenti quem vos vultis ecce venit dicit Dominus exercituum] Malachi 3:1 {“And, who can endure the day of His advent? Who can stand when He appears”}
 
First Reading for the day Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent: (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121813.cfm):
- Behold, the days advance, saith the LORD, when I will raise unto David a (just) righteous Branch, and [as] a King, [He] shall reign and [His Nation] prosper {some translate 'deal wisely'}, and He shall execute judgment and justice on the earth.
 
- In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and, the name by which they shall call Him: "The LORD [is] our Righteousness."
 
- Now therefore, behold, the days advance, saith the LORD, no more shall be said, "As the LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of [bondage in] the land of Egypt;"
 
- But, "as the LORD liveth, which brought and led ... the house of Israel out ... from all countries into which He had driven them; and, they shall [then] inhabit their [own] land [Jeremiah 23: 5-8].
Canticle: A Song of Wisdom {come teach us the way of prudence}
 
Wisdom freed from a nation of oppressors
a holy people and a blameless race.
She entered the soul of a servant (prophet) of the Lord,
withstood dread rulers with wonders and signs.
To the saints she gave the reward of their labors,
and led them by a marvelous way;
She was their shelter by day
and a blaze of stars by night.
She brought them across the Red Sea,
she led them through mighty waters;
But their enemies she swallowed in the waves
and spewed them out from the depths of the abyss.
And then, Lord, the righteous sang hymns to Your Name,
and praised with one voice Your protecting hand;
For Wisdom opened the mouths of the mute,
and gave speech to the tongues of a new-born people
[Wisdom 10:15-19,20b-21].

O Sapientia (O Wisdom) -- (technically the Aniphon for Wednesday's prayer is "O Adonai" - http://saltandlighttv.org/blog/advent-christmas/the-o-antiphons-o-adonai-2, which is about being led in the wilderness and receiving the Law) - O Sapientia (O Wisdom) is the first of the series sung on the previous day (Tuesday of the 3rd week in Advent).

"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is a hymn for the Season of Advent before Christmas. The hymn derives from a translation of a Latin hymn, Veni, Veni, Emmanuel,which is a metrical paraphrase of the "O Antiphons" (a series of plainchant "songs" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Antiphons) used at Vespers during the time preceding Christmas. An 1861 translation from "Hymns Ancient and Modern" by far is the most used by the English-speaking Christians, but other English translations also exist. Translations for several languages (particularly German) are also widespread. Interestingly, the tune most familiar in the English-speaking world has its origins in 15th-century France.

A pre-history of the English text stretches back to the origins of the O Antiphons themselves, which were in existence by, at the latest, the eighth century. It is possible that metrical efforts could have been made quite early; we know, for instance, that they were paraphrased extensively by the English poet Cynewulf in a poem written before the year 800. However, despite popular imagination of an early origin for "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," the hymn's history is substantiated only beginning much later. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_come,_O_come,_Emmanuel

Thus, as we begin the final part of the liturgical season before Christmas we encounter the the first of the traditional "O Antiphons"   "O Sapientia" -or- "O Wisdom", which draws us into the Old Testament's wisdom literature. Wisdom is a divine attribute. The divine Wisdom is personified. Wisdom is the beloved who was before Creation; Wisdom is the breath of God's power;Wisdom is the shining of God's transforming glory. If you would like to read or do lectio on scripture for this day (17th of December):

Wisdom 8:1 --
Isaiah 11:2-3; 28:29 --
Proverbs 8:1-36 --
John 1:1-5

Veni, O Sapientia,
Quæ hic disponis omnia,
Veni, viam prudentiæ
Ut doceas et gloriæ


Gaude, gaude, Emanuel.
Nascetur pro te, Israël.
O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
And order all things, far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And cause us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice! God is with us !!!
Emanuel shall ransom captive Israë.
Come, O Wisdom, which here you distribute to all.
Come, way of prudence and glory,
that you might teach.

Rejoice, O Israël,
soon will come Emmanuel!


http://sacredspace102.blogspot.com/2014/12/o-antiphons-17th-december-o-sapientia-o.html

*** *** ***

In the Gospel reading for the fourth (and last) Sunday in Advent we read how John the Baptist was asked who are you [John 1:19]. John replies that he is not the Messiah {verse 20}, not the “prophet” {see (Deut. xviii. 15.)} and not Elijah {Verse 21}; but rather is the voice of one crying out -- prepare ye the way of the Lord {Verse 23}, as prophesied by Isaiah (see again Chapter 40:1-5). For Christ is God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, as the Creed says {'28 Prayer Book -- used by the Anglican Church today, and a most direct heir to Cranmer's great work}.


At His birth He did not begin to exist. He was before all time very God of very God; nor has He ceased to be God. He was, is and always shall be the Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Lord of Hosts. We must also acknowledge his true humanity, and we should never make him to be less of a man, just because he also was perfectly divine. As a man he is heir to all things, and those who are sons of God are joint heirs with Christ, even though as men we are not worthy so much as to unlace the footwear of Christ, as John says ... but we have received a great gift of acceptance, which we celebrate with Feast of the Nativity commonly called ... Christmas. The traditional Introit for week four begins: Lætare Ierusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam ! -- Rejoice Jerusalem; and gather round, all you who love her.


https://bible.org/seriespage/3-witness-john-john-119-37


...
[They] sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,
Who art thou ?

And he confessed, and denied not;
but confessed, "I am not the Christ."

And they asked him, What then?
Art thou Elias? And he saith, "I am not."
Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

Then said they unto him, Who art thou?
that we may give an answer to them that sent us.
What sayest thou of thyself?

He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness
Make ye straight the way of the Lord
, as said the prophet"
[Isaiah].

December 16th-24th: Las Posadas (Spanish plural form for "the inns" or "shelters") is the traditional Mexican festival that re-enacts Joseph's search for room at the inn in Bethlehem. Each Christmas season, a processional, carrying a doll representing the Christ Child and images of Joseph and Mary riding a burro, walks through the community streets. The group will stop at a previously selected home and ask for lodging that night. People are invited in to read scriptures and sing Christmas carols called villancicos. The hosts furnish refreshments. This motif continues for eight nights in commemoration of the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. On the last night, a Mass is celebrated at midnight of La Noche Buena. So goes the Mexican festival of lights that precedes Christmas (Feliz Navidad). http://www.nacnet.org/assunta/nacimnto.htm

Entren, Santos Peregrinos,
reciban este rincón,
que aunque es pobre la morada,
os la doy de corazón.

see also http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/feature/xmasindex.html ----- ¿ Quien vive? -- He venido para que tengan vida y la tengan abundante

2: The people walking in darkness
They have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

6: For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7: Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

[Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 9]
The antiphon for December 20th is based on the image of Jesus as Savior, who reconciles God and man and is himself the very key that reopens the gates of paradise which were shut after the Fall (see Genesis 3:23-24). http://timotheosprologizes.blogspot.com/2010/12/o-come-thou-key-of-david.html
Isaiah 22:22: I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; 
he shall open,  and no one shall shut; 
he shall shut, and no one shall open.

Revelation 3:7:  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:     
“These are the words of the Holy One, 
the True One, who has the key of David, 
who opens and no one will shut, 
who shuts and no one opens.”

And so, the relevant verse from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is:    
O come, thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Latin: O EMMANVEL, REX et legifer noster,
exspectatio gentivm, et Salvator earvm:
veni ad salvandvm nos DOMINE DEUS noster


Literal English meaning: O Emmanuel, God with us, our King and law-giver,
the expected of the nations and their Savior:
come to save us, O Lord our God.
   O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israël,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice-Rejoice, Emanuel,
Shall ransom captive Israë !!!

The people that sat in darkness, hath seen great light:
and to them that sat in the region of the shadow of death,
light is sprung up [Matthew 4:16].

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned [Isaiah 9:2].
"Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you [Isaiah 60:1]."

... to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace [Luke 1:79].

... a light to the revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of thy people Israël [Luke 2:32].

Stand by the roads, look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; walk in that way and find rest for your souls

The season of Christmastide begins, of course, on December 25th. This season lasts 12 days, ending with Epiphany on January 6th.

December 24, 1818: Church organist, Franz Grüber, composed a melody on guitar at Nicole Kirche (St. Nicholas Church) in Oberndorf, Austria, for a poem. That poem, Stille Nacht, written earlier by pastor Joseph Möhr, was sung for the very first time that evening. The song reached Royal Court Choir of Berlin some years later, where „Silent Night” had become the favorite of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia. He researched the origins of the carol and traced it first to Salzburg in 1854. Later the full story became known. see http://www.german-way.com/german/stille.html

Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
Jesus der Retter ist da !
Jesus der Retter ist da !
Silent Night! Holy Night!
Shepherds first saw the sight
Of angels singing alleluia
Calling clearly near and far:
Christ, the saviour is born !
Christ the Saviour is born !


http://silentnight.web.za/translate/deu.htm

Christmastide


 
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