Monday, December 25, 2006

A Visit to the Christmas Creche

+ In the Name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

OUR Father.
HAIL, Mary.
GLORY be.

V. And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.

O divine redeemer Jesus Christ, prostrate before Thy crib, I believe that Thou art the God of infinite majesty, even though I see Thee here as a helpless babe. Humbly I adore and thank Thee for having so humbled thyself for my salvation as to will to be born in a stable. I thank Thee for all thou didst wish to suffer for me in Bethlehem, for Thy poverty and humility, for Thy nakedness, tears, cold and sufferings.

Would that I could show Thee that tenderness which thy Virgin Mother had toward Thee, and love Thee as she loved Thee. Would that I could praise Thee with the joy of the angels; that I could kneel before Thee with the faith of Saint Joseph, the simplicity of the shepherds. Uniting myself with these first worshippers at the crib, I offer Thee the homage of my heart, and I beg that Thou wouldest be born spiritually in my soul. Give me, I pray Thee, the virtues of Thy blessed Nativity. Fill me with that spirit of renunciation, of poverty, of humility, which prompted Thee to assume the weakness of our nature, and to be born amid destitution and suffering. Grant that from this day forward I may in all things seek Thy greater glory, and may enjoy that peace promised to men of good will, Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

Sweet babe of Bethlehem, I praise thee,
I bless thee, I thank thee.
I love thee with all my heart.
I desire to worship thee,
And to be like thee in all
Thy holy and blessed ways.

O Holy Mary, as I here adore thy divine Son, pray for all little children, that they may be protected from all harm and danger, and that they may grow in grace and in favour with God and man.

We pray thee, O Father, that the holy joy of Christmas may fill our minds with thoughts of peace, and our hearts with a sense of Thy great love; hasten the time when war being done away, we may love as brethren, and bring in the reign of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

CRIB HYMN

What lovely infant can this be,
that in the little crib I see?
So sweetly on the straw it lies,
it must have come from Paradise.

Who is that Lady kneeling by,
and gazing on so tenderly?
O, that is Mary, ever blest,
how full of joy her holy breast.

What man is that who seems to smile,
and look so blissful all the while?
'Tis holy Joseph, good and true,
the infant makes him happy too.

What makes the crib so bright and clear?
what voices sing so sweetly here?
ah! see behind the window pane,
the little angels looking in.

Who are those people kneeling down,
with crooked sticks and hands so brown?
the shepherds from the mountain top,
the little angels woke them up.

The ox and ass how still and mild,
they stand beside the Holy Child,
the little body underneath,
they warm so kindly with their breath.

Hail, holy cave! tho' dark thou be,
the world is lighted up from thee.
Hail, Holy Babe! creation stands,
and moves upon thy little hands.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God: that the new birth in the flesh of Thy Only-Begotten Son may deliver us; who are held fast in the old bondage under the yoke of sin. through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

(Somewhat modified from its original format.)

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