Veni, Redemptor gentium

St. Ambrose (340-97)
Tr John Mason Neale (1818-66)
Come, thou Redeemer of the earth,
    And manifest thy virgin-birth:
Let ev'ry age adoring fall;
    Such birth befits the God of all.

Begotten of no human will,
    But of the Spirit, thou art still
The Word of God in flesh arrayed,
    The promised fruit to man displayed.

The virgin womb that burden gained
    With virgin honour all unstained,
The banners there of virtue glow,
    God in his temple dwells below.

Forth from his chamber goeth he,
    That royal home of purity,
A giant in twofold substance one,
    Rejoicing now his course to run.

From God the Father he proceeds,
    To God the Father back he speeds,
His course he runs to death and hell,
    Returning on God's throne to dwell.

O equal to the Father, thou!
    Gird on thy fleshly mantle now,
The weakness of our mortal state
    With deathless might invigorate.

Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
    And darkness breathe a newer light,
Where endless faith shall shine serene,
    And twilight never intervene.

All laud, eternal Son, to thee
    Whose advent sets thy people free,
Whom with the Father we adore,
    And Holy Ghost for evermore.

Our Lady of the New Advent (The Gate of Heaven)
Icon written by Fr. William McNichols

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Advent Carol Service
Trinity College Chapel - Cambridge, 2012

The tune is known as Puer nobis, a melody first found in a fifteenth century Trier manuscript. This is an adaptation for the text "Geborn is Gottes Söhnelein" by Michael Praetorius and appears in his Musae Sionae, 1609. The traditional English arrangement sung here is by George Radcliffe Woodward, first published for the Vesper hymn of the Epiphany "What star is this with beams so bright" in the Cowley Carol Book, 1901, at the request of St. John's parish, Cowley, England.

Baruch 4:36-5:9

Look toward the east, O Jerusalem,
    and see the joy that is coming to you from God!
Behold, your sons are coming, whom you sent away;
    they are coming, gathered from east and west, at the word of the Holy One,
    rejoicing in the glory of God.

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
    and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God.
Put on the robe of the righteousness from God;
    put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting.
For God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.
For your name will for ever be called by God,
    "Peace of righteousness and glory of godliness."
Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height
    and look toward the east, and see your children gathered from west and east,
    at the word of the Holy One,
    rejoicing that God has remembered them.
For they went forth from you on foot,
    led away by their enemies; but God will bring them back to you,
    carried in glory, as on a royal throne.
For God has ordered that every high mountain
    and the everlasting hills be made low
    and the valleys filled up, to make level ground,
    so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.
The woods and every fragrant tree
    have shaded Israel at God's command.
For God will lead Israel with joy,
    in the light of his glory,
    with the mercy and righteousness that come from him.