Fra Angelico (c. 1395 – 1455) Adoration of the Magi
When the song of the angel is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost–
To heal the broken–
To feed the hungry–
To release the prisoner–
To rebuild the nations–
To bring peace among brothers and sisters–
To make music in the heart.
The light of the Christmas star to you.
The warmth of home and hearth to you.
The cheer and good will of friends to you.
The hope of a childlike heart to you.
The joy of a thousand angels to you.
The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.
May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
And is it true? and is it true,
The most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an in ox’s stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Became a Child on earth for me?
Sir John Betjeman
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Love came down at Christmas;
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Stars and angels gave the sign.
I will honour Christmas in my heart,
and try to keep it all the year.
Oh holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend.
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Words by Chappeau de Roquemaure
Translated by John S. Dwight
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
Christmas Eve was a night of song
that wrapped itself about you like a shawl.
But it warmed more than your body.
It warmed your heart… filled it, too,
with a melody that would last forever.
Bess Streeter Aldrich