Christmas Reading and Music – 11:00am

St. Giles’ Cathedral

Christmas Readings and Music at 11am

1st Sunday after Christmas

Sunday 26th December 2021

Organ Music

Olivier Messiaen Les Bergers
Dieterich Buxtehude In dulci jubilo
Marcel Dupré In dulci jubilo


In dulci jubilo

In dulci jubilo,
Let us our homage show,
Our heart’s joy reclineth in praesepio,
and like a bright star shineth
matris in gremio.
Alpha es et O, Alpha es et O.

Music: J.S.Bach 1685-1750


O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see you lie!
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in your streets is shining
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in you tonight.

O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth
and praises sing to God the King,
and peace to men on earth;
for Christ is born of Mary;
and, gathered all above,
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming;
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray;
cast out our sin, and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell:
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Emmanuel.

Text: Phillips Brooks 1835-93
Music: Forest Green CH4 304 English Traditional harm. R.Vaughan Williams 1872-1958




Eternal God, into a realm of clerics and kings you sent your child to teach the wise and to show the world what power there is in love. Keep us vigilant to hear the voices of those who speak your truth. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen

Reading                      St John 1  1-14

                Dietrich Bonhoeffer God became a child


Maria durch ein Dornwald ging

Mary wandered through a wood of thorns,
Lord, have mercy.
Mary wandered through a wood of thorns,
Which was leafless for seven years.
Jesus and Mary.

Who did Mary bear beneath her bosom?
Lord, have mercy.
A little babe without pain,
Whom Mary bore beneath her bosom.
Jesus and Mary.

The thorns had roses there,
Lord, have mercy.
As the babe was carried through the woods,
There were roses with thorns on them.
Jesus and Mary.

Music: Heinrich Kaminski 1886-1946

Reading             Richard Wilbur A Christmas Hymn


A great and mighty wonder,
A full and holy cure!
The Virgin bears the Infant
With virgin-honour pure.
Repeat the hymn again!
‘To God on high be glory,
And peace on earth to men!’

The Word becomes incarnate
And yet remains on high!
And Cherubim sing anthems
To shepherds, from the sky.

While thus they sing your Monarch,
Those bright angelic bands,
Rejoice, ye vales and mountains,
Ye oceans clap your hands.

Since all he comes to ransom,
By all be he adored,
The Infant born in Bethl’em,
The Saviour and the Lord.

Text: St Germanus 634-734 translated J.M.Neale
Tune: 14th century harmonized Michael Praetorius 1571-1621


There is no rose

There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu,

For in this rose contained was
Heaven and earth in little space,
Res miranda.

By that rose we may well see
That he is God in persons three,
Pari forma.

The angels sungen the shepherds to:
Gloria in excelsis deo:

Leave we all this worldly mirth,
And follow we this joyful birth,

Alleluia, res miranda,
Pares forma, gaudeamus,

Text: Anonymous 15th century
Music: John Joubert 1927-2019

Reading                     St Luke 2  1-14

                                  U.A.Fanthorpe BC:AD


If ye would hear the angels sing

If ye would hear the angels sing
‘Peace on earth and mercy mild’,
Think of him who was once a child,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

If ye would hear the angels sing,
Rise, and spread your Christmas fare;
‘Tis merrier still the more that share,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

Rise, and bake your Christmas bread:
Christians, rise! The world is bare,
And blank, and dark with want and care,
Yet Christmas comes in the morning.

If ye would hear the angels sing,
Rise, and light your Christmas fire;
And see that ye pile the logs still higher
On Christmas Day in the morning.

Rise, and light your Christmas fire;
Christians, rise! The world is old,
And Time is weary, and worn, and cold,
Yet Christmas comes in the morning.

If ye would hear the angels sing,
Christians! See ye let each door
Stand wider than it e’er stood before,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

Rise, and open wide the door;
Christians, rise! The world is wide,
And many there be that stand outside,
Yet Christmas comes in the morning.

Text: Dorothy Greenwell 1821-1882
Music: Traditional arr. Peter Backhouse


It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold:
‘Peace on the earth, good will to men
from heaven’s all-gracious King!’
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
with peaceful wings unfurled;
and still their heavenly music floats
o’er all the weary world:
above its sad and lowly plains
they bend on hovering wing;
and ever o’er its Babel-sounds
the blessed angels sing.

But with the woes of sin and strife
the world has suffered long;
beneath the angels’ hymn have rolled
two thousand years of wrong;
and warring humankind hears not
the love-song which they bring:
oh, hush the noise and still the strife,
and hear the angels sing.

For lo, the days are hastening on,
by prophet-bards foretold,
when, with the ever-rolling years,
still dawns the Age of Gold;
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendours fling,
and the whole world give back the song
which now the angels sing.

Text: Edmund Hamilton Sears 1810-76
Tune: Noel CH4 303 Traditional adapted by Arthur Sullivan 1842-1900


A little child there is yborn

A little child there is yborn,
And he sprang out of Jesse’s thorn,
To save us all that were forlorn:
Alleluia, Gloria tibi Domine.

Text: Anonymous 15th century
Music: Alan Bullard b.1947

Reading Gerard Manley Hopkins Moonless darkness


All bells in paradise

Deep in the cold of winter, darkness and silence were everywhere;
Softly and clearly, there came through the stillness a wonderful sound to hear:

Text and music: John Rutter b.1945


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.


O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
come and behold him,
born the King of angels:
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord!

God of God,
Light of light,
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
very God,
begotten, not created:

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
‘Glory to God
In the highest:’

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given:
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

Text: Possibly by John Wade c1711-86
Music: Adeste Fideles CH4 306 Possibly by John Wade c1711-86


Organ Voluntary

J.S.Bach Pièce d’orgue BWV 572

CCL Licence No 980930
Streaming Licence 57837

The service was conducted by The Rev Sigrid Marten