"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve-Midnight

And then at midnight, the priest comes out from behind the screen, and whispers to the person standing there; who passes the news on in a whisper, which spreads like flame, like ripples on water, across the expectant crowd:

"Christ is born.

"Christ is born."

Christ is born."

Hodie Christus natus est:
hodie Salvator apparuit:
hodie in terra canunt angeli:
lætantur archangeli:
hodie exsultant justi dicentes:

Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Today Christ is born:
today the Saviour appears:
today on earth the angels sing:
the archangels announce:
today be exultant and say together:

Glory to God in the highest.
Halleluia! Halleluia! Halleluia!
Audio here.

(When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I sang in a boy's choir that performed the "Ceremony of Carols," and I've remembered most of it ever since. For this holy season, I've decided to post some of the lyrics, though I highly recommend following the link and listening to the performance.)


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