Advent Lessons and Carols
Prepare the way, O Zion
Oh, blest is Christ that came in God's most holy name.
1 Prepare the way, O Zion,
your Christ is drawing near!
Let every hill and valley
a level way appear.
Greet One who comes in glory,
foretold in sacred story.
2 He brings God's rule, O Zion;
he comes from heaven above.
His rule is peace and freedom,
and justice, truth and love.
Lift high your praise resounding,
for grace and joy abounding.
3 Fling wide your gates, O Zion;
your Savior's rule embrace.
His tidings of salvation
proclaim in every place.
All lands will bow before him,
their voices will adore him.
Once in royal David's city
1 Once in royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.
2 He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.
3 We, like Mary, rest confounded that a stable should display
heaven's Word, the world creator, cradled there on Christmas Day,
yet this child, our Lord and brother,
brought us love for one another.
4 For he is our lifelong pattern; daily when on earth he grew,
he was tempted, scorned, rejected, tears and smiles like us he knew.
Thus he feels for all our sadness,
and he shares in all our gladness.
5 And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love;
for that child who seemed so helpless is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.
6 Not in that poor lowly stable, with the oxen standing round,
we shall see him; but in heaven, where his saints his throne surround:
Christ, revealed to faithful eye,
set at God's right hand on high.
Humbly I adore thee
1 Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen,
who thy glory hides 'neath these shadows mean;
lo, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.
2 Taste and touch and vision to discern thee fail;
faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whatever the Son of God hath told;
what the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.
3 O memorial wondrous of the Lord's own death;
living Bread that gives all thy creatures breath,
grant my spirit ever by thy life may live,
to my taste thy sweetness never failing give.
4 Jesus, whom now hidden, I by faith behold,
what my soul doth long for, that thy word foretold:
face to face thy splendor, I at last shall see,
in the glorious vision, blessed Lord, of thee.
Savior of the nations, come!
1 Savior of the nations, come!
Virgin's Son, make here your home.
Marvel now, both heaven and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.
2 Wondrous birth! O, wondrous child
of the Virgin undefiled!
Mighty God and Mary's son,
eager now his race to run!
3 Thus on earth the Word appears,
gracing his created spheres;
hence to death and hell descends,
then the heavenly throne ascends.
4 Come, O Father's saving Son,
who o'er sin the victory won.
Boundless shall your kingdom be;
grant that we its glories see.