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A Meditation On The Incarnation Of Christ, Sermons On The Life And
Passion Of Our Lord And Of Hearing And Speaking Good Words. -Thomas A Kempis

SEEK ye the Lord, while He may be found; call on Him, while He is near. Arise, all ye faithful of Christ: hasten together to this solemnity of the birth of the Lord. For this is the most holy night: on which the Redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ, willed to be born of the glorious Virgin Mary. Arise, therefore, all, and watch: prepare ye your hearts and pray. The Lord is come: come and adore. Seek Jesus, and you shall find Him: knock at the door, and it shall be opened to you: enter the house and you shall see. Our King is arrived: Christ is born to us. Come, let us adore and fall down before Him: for He it is Who made us. Come, ye angels and archangels: chant and rejoice and sing psalms. Be glad, ye just in the Lord; sing a hymn to our God: proclaim His works among the nations. God is come in the flesh; He is with us in human nature: Who is never away from us in the divine. Come, little and great: old and aged, youths and maidens; sing to the Lord a new canticle: for he hath wrought wonders this day. LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS WITH YOUR HANDS TO HEAVEN; AND ABOVE ALL REJOICING GIVE GLORY TO HIS PRAISE. The Lord is with us: be not sad. Put on, ye chosen ones of God, the garments of gladness and joy; cast away the works of darkness, and put ye on the armour of light: as in the open day, so let us watch this sacred night. Let us rejoice and exult; let us sing canticles and hymns: let us praise the God our Saviour. Let us offer Him our vows: let us present Him the service of our mouth. The Lord is with us, depart not: weary not; but stand manfully; and sing psalms to Him with cheerfulness.

Who can sleep now; while the angels are singing in the heavens, and the voice of praise resounds on high? Who would remain in his bed; while all rejoice to be with Jesus in gladness? Who would not rise this night with eagerness; when all things seem to be rejoicing? Therefore be glad and rejoice, daughter of Sion, give praise, O Jerusalem: for this day true peace has come down from Heaven, to appease and restore the things that are in Heaven and the things that are on earth. This day the true Light has shone upon the earth: to enlighten every man that believeth in Him. This day there is great joy in Israel: for Christ is born in Bethlehem. This day throughout the world the heavens are flowing with honey; for from the mouth of the learned come forth most sweet discourses: whereby the weak are refreshed, the devout consoled; the ignorant instructed, the slothful aroused: the faithful strengthened, and unbelievers put to shame.

To-day the angels rejoice, the archangels exult: and all the just are in devotion and spiritual joy. To-day night is turned into day and great brightness: for to the righteous of heart a light is risen up in darkness, the merciful and compassionate Lord. Let this night be blessed for ever: and numbered among the days of solemnity. Let them bless it who are wont to bless the day; and praise it all the children of light: for therein is born Christ the Son of God, the Light of eternal light. Let it not be dark; but let it be illumined by a light from above: and throughout the whole Church let many lamps be lighted. Let nothing therein be passed over that concerns its beauty: but let its praise be continued even to the breaking of the rising dawn. And when the day shall have dawned: may the Sun of Justice, Who is born, shine in the hearts of all them that love Him: and may fresh devotion again rise in the hearts of all that celebrate. A holy day has shone upon us to-day: let all the faithful rejoice: for God bespoke of old: “Be light made”: and light was made. O truly blessed night, brightened by the birth of the true Light, and made resplendent with the glory of angels: by whose hymns and praises it is rendered the more joyous for all the faithful throughout the world. O truly most blessed night, more brilliant than all the nights of time: which merited to know the season and the hour: when from the virgin’s womb came forth the Son of God, clothed in the body of our weakness. O sacred and stainless nativity: which the fruitfulness of a virgin brought forth. O fruitfulness above nature; which the purity of a virgin beautified, and the sovereign majesty chose: that man’s mortality might be saved. O blessed and gladsome birth; which has changed the curse of our first parents into blessing: and has turned their grief into everlasting joy. Deservedly is this night worthy of the veneration and love of all men: wherein Christ deigned to be born to deliver all. Blessed therefore be the holy Trinity: by Whose goodness and wisdom the dignity of mankind has been restored, and the cunning of the devil deceived. I bless Thee, heavenly Father: Who didst send Thy beloved Son into the world for our redemption. I bless Thee only-begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ: Who to redeem us men didst assume our nature. I bless Thee, Holy Ghost, the Paraclete: Who didst gloriously and wondrously perfect all the mysteries of our redemption from the beginning unto the end. To Thee be infinite praise and glory: to Thee be honour and empire, O supreme, eternal Trinity: by Whose providence and ordering so sweet and solemn a festival has come to us. Amen.

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