Thursday, December 23, 2010

The True Meaning of Christmas

Antonio da Correggio, Nativity c. 1529-1530

What Child is This?
Original version of the Christmas Carol, lyrics by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898), published by Rev. Henry Ramsden Bramley (1833-1917) and Sir John Stainer (1840-1901) in Christmas Carols New and Old, First Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1871), Carol #14

What Child is this, Who laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthem sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

Antonio da Correggio, The Pietà c.1522-1523

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

"The baby born in Bethlehem comes to bring us light and peace. But to do that, he comes to die for us and rise again. He comes to deliver us from the evil in ourselves and in the world that slew...even the Son of God Himself." 
--Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
from "Him Who is the Last: An Advent Reflection"

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