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Merry Christmas 2012: The Lord Said to Me


Come to your heaven, yowe heavenly quires!
Earth hath the heaven of your desires;
Remove your dwellinge to your God,
A stall is nowe His beste abode;
Sith men their homage do denye,
Come, angells, all their faults supply.

His chilling could doth heate require,
Come, seraphins, in liew of fire;
This little ark no cover hath,
Let cherubs' winges his body swath;
Come, Raphiell, this babe must eate,
Prouide our little Tobie meate.

Let Gabriell be nowe His groome,
That first tooke upp His earthly roome;
Let Michell stand in His defence,
Whom love hath linckd to feeble sence;
Let Graces rocke, when He doth crye,
And Angells sing this lullabye.

The same yow sawe in heavenly seate,
Is He that now suckes Mary's teate;
Agnize your Kinge a mortal wighte,
His borowed weede letts not your sight;
Come, kysse the maunger where He lies;
That is your blisse aboue the skyes.

This little babe so fewe daies olde,
Is come to rifle Satan's foulde;
All hell doth at His presence quake,
Though He Him self for cold do shake;
For in this weake unarmèd wise
The gates of hell He will surprise.

With teares He fightes and wins the feild,
His naked breste stands for a sheilde,
His battering shott are babishe cryes,
His arrowes, looks of weepinge eyes,
His martiall ensignes, colde and neede,
And feeble fleshe His warrior's steede.

His campe is pitchèd in a stall,
His bulwarke but a broken wall,
The cribb His trench, hay-stalkes His stakes,
Of shepeherdes He His muster makes;
And thus, as sure His foe to wounde,
The angells' trumpes alarum sounde.

My soule, with Christ joyne thou in fighte;
Sticke to the tents that He hath pight;
Within His cribb is sureste warde,
This little babe will be thy guarde;
If thow wilt foyle thy foes with joye,
Then flitt not from this heavenly boye.
Poem by Robert Southwell (1561-1595)

The Introit for Midnight Mass at Christmas:

The Lord said to me: you are my son, this day I have begotten you.
Why are the nations in an uproar, and the peoples think on vain things?

As sung at Westminster Cathedral, London:

As sung at the Vatican:

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