Archive for the ‘Advent and Christmas’ Category

All Hail, Ye Little Martyr Flowers   1 comment


Above:  The Massacre of the Innocents, by Tintoretto

Image in the Public Domain

Original Text by Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-circa 413)

English Translation by John Athelstan Laurie Riley (1858-1945)

Hymn Source = The English Hymnal (1906), The Church of England

A hymn for the Feast of the Holy Innocents


All hail, ye little Martyr flowers,

Sweet rosebuds cut in dawning hours!

When Herod sought the Christ to find

Ye fell as bloom before the wind.


First victims of the Martyr bands,

With crowns and palms in tender hands,

Around the very altar, gay

And innocent, ye seem to play.


What profited this great offence?

What use was Herod’s violence?

A Babe survives that dreadful day,

And Christ is safely borne away.


All honour, laud, and glory be,

O Jesu, virgin-born, to thee;

All glory, as it is ever meet

To Father and to Paraclete.

Once He Came in Blessing   2 comments

Icon of the Nativity Andrei Rublev

Above:  Icon of the Nativity, by Andrei Rublev

Image in the Public Domain

Original Text (1540) by Jan Roh (1485/1490-1547)

English Translation (1858) by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878)

Hymn Source #1 = Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923), Moravian Church in America

Hymn Source #2 = The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (1942), by William Gustave Polack


Once He came in blessing

All our ills redressing,

Came in likeness lowly,

Son of God most holy;

Bore the Cross to save us,

Hope and freedom gave us.


Still He comes within us,

Still His voice would win us,

From the sins that hurt us;

Would to truth convert us,

From our foolish errors,

Ere He comes in terrors.


Thus if thou hast known Him,

Not ashamed to own Him;

Nor dost love Him coldly,

But wilt trust Him boldly;

He will now receive thee,

Heal thee, and forgive thee.


But though many a trial,

Deepest self-denial,

Long and brave endurance,

Must thou win assurance

That His own makes thee,

And no more forsakes thee.


He, who well endureth,

Bright reward secureth;

Come then, O Lord Jesus,

From our sins release us;

Let us here confess Thee,

Till in heaven we bless Thee.

To God the Anthem Raising   3 comments

New Year's Eve

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America

German Text (published in 1571) by Paul Eber (1511-1569)

English Translation (1907) by Carl Doving (1867-1937)


1.  To God the anthem raising,

Sing, Christians, great and small;

Sing out, His goodness praising,

Oh, thank Him, one and all!

Behold how God this year,

Which now is safely ended,

Hath in His love befriended,

His children far and near.

2.  Let us consider rightly

His mercies manifold,

And let us not think lightly

Of all His gifts untold.

Let thankfulness recall

How God this year hath led us,

How He hath clothed and fed us,

The great ones and the small.

3.  The Church and State He granted

His peace in every place,

His vineyard He hath planted

Among us by His grace.

His ever bounteous hand

Prosperity hath given

And want and famine driven

From this our native land.

4.  His Father heart is yearning

To take us for His own

When, our transgressions mourning,

We trust in Christ alone;

When in His name we pray

And humbly make confession,

He pardons our transgression

And is our faithful Stay.

5.  Our God hath well defended,

Hath kept us through His grace;

But if He had contended

With us our sins to trace

And given us our meed,

We all would then be lying

In sin and sorrow, dying,

Each one for his misdeed.

6.  O Father dear in heaven,

For all Thy gifts of love

Which Thou to us hast given

We lift our thanks above.

In Jesus’ name we here,

To Thee our prayers addressing,

Still ask Thee for Thy blessing:

Grant us a joyful year.

O Lord, Our Father, Thanks to Thee   3 comments

New Year's Eve

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1880), Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930)

(The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, contains an altered translation.)

Original German Words (1597) by Cyriacus Schneegass (1546-1597)

English Translation (1880) by August Crull (1845-1923)


1.  O Lord, our Father, thanks to Thee

In this new year we render,

For Thou hast been from misery

And evil our defender;

Thro’ all the year that hath now fled

Hast given us our daily bread,

And peace within our borders.

2.  Lord Jesus Christ, our thanks to Thee

In this new year we render;

For Thou still rulest zealously

Thy fold, with mercies tender;

Thou hast redeemed us with Thy blood,

Thou art our Joy, our only Good,

In life and death our Savior.

3.  Lord Holy Ghost, our thanks to Thee

In this new year we render,

For by Thy grace it is that we

Preserve Thy Word’s pure splendor;

Thou hast infused, Lord, from above

Into our hearts true faith and love,

And other Christian virtues.

4.  Our faithful God, we cry to Thee;

Still bless us with Thy favor,

Blot out our iniquity,

And hide our sins forever.

Grant us a happy, good new year

And when the hours of death draw near,

A blest departure.

Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding   2 comments


Above:  Diocesan Confirmation, the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, December 8, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Hymn Source = The Hymnal 1916 (1918), Episcopal Church

Original Latin Text (Fifth Century C.E.) by Anonymous

English Translation (1849, altered) by Edward Caswall (1814-1878)


1.  Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding;

“Christ is night,” it seems to say;

“Cast away the works of darkness,

O ye children of the day.”

2.  Wakened by the solemn warning,

Let the earth-bound soul arise;

Christ, her Sun, all sloth dispelling,

Shines upon the morning skies.

3.  Lo! the Lamb, so long expected,

Comes with pardon down from heaven;

Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,

One and all to be forgiven;

4.  So when next He comes with glory,

Wrapping all the world in fear,

May He with His mercy shield us,

And with words of love draw near.


This is post #1350 of GATHERED PRAYERS.


Now Hail We Our Redeemer   3 comments


Above:  The Hymn Title

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Hymn Source = The Concordia Hymnal (1932), U.S. Lutheran

Original Words by Aurelius Ambrose (340-397), according to tradition

Original Words by Elisabet Cruciger (Circa 1500-1535), according to the companion volume (1985) to The Covenant Hymnal (1973), The Evangelical Covenant Church of America

Swedish Translation by Olavus Petri (1493-1552)

English Translation by Ernst W. Olson (1870-1958)


1.  Now hail we our Redeemer,

Eternal Son of God,

Born in the flesh to save us,

And cleanse us in His blood.

The Morning Star ascendeth,

Light to the world He lendeth,

Our Guide in grief and gloom.

2.  A man, of God begotten,

Brought in the age of grace;

Lo, all the earth is radiant

With light, and hope, and peace.

Our prison He demolished,

Death’s power He abolished,

And opened heaven’s gate.

3.  O Jesus, grant us mercy,

And grace on us bestow,

To walk by Thine own guidance,

Thy saving truth to know.

For Thee our hearts are yearning,

From worldly pleasures turning

Unto Thy righteousness.

4.  Into Thy hand the Father

Gave all, that we might be

In bonds of faith united;

And dedicate to Thee

A people through Thy merit

Entitled to inherit

Thy realm eternally.

The Hail Mary   24 comments

The Madonna in Sorrow, by Sassoferrato

Image Source = Wikipedia

My preferred post-communion prayer is the Hail Mary.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now at the honor of our death.