Monday, December 18, 2006

Nine Lessons and Carols

Every December our church performs Nine Lessons and Carols which is a performance started in 1880 in Truro, England that has been sung and read every year since, somewhere. King's College Choir in Cambridge is famous for its performance each year.

We have sung with the choir other years, but it just didn't happen this year; even so we thoroughly enjoyed participating in the congregation yesterday. As you read here, if you know the tune, feel free to hum or sing along.

Call to Worship

Once, in Royal David's City, stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby in a manger for His bed.
Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ, her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable and His cradle was a stall.
With the poor and mean and lowly, lived on earth our Savior holy.

Jesus is our childhood's pattern; day by day, like us, He grew.
He was little, weak and helpless; tears and smiles, like us, He knew.
And He feeleth for our sadness and He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes, at last shall see Him through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle is our Lord in heaven above.
And He leads His children on to the place where He has gone.
Henry Gauntlett & Cecil Alexander (c) public domain

Lesson One

God tells sinful Adam that he has lost the life of Paradise and that his seed will bruise the serpent's head. Text: Genesis 3:8-15; 17-19

Adam Lay Ybounden

Adam lay ybounden, bounden in a bond.
Four thousand winter thought he not too long.
And all was for an apple, an apple that he took,
As cleckes finden writtein in their book.
Ne had the apple taken been, the apple taken been,
Ne had never our Savior, our Redeemer abeen.
Blessed be the time our freedom gained was,
Therefore, we moun singen, Deo gracias!
Words anon, 15th century

I was familiar with the first song. The first verse is sung by a young boy chorister and is haunting and sweet. The second song was new to me. The music was written for the 15th century words by Boris Ord, 1957.

Lesson Two

God promises to faithful Abraham, that in his seed, shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.
Text: Genesis 22:15-18
"And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, "By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice."

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