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December

Deep in darkness we begin
7.7.7.7 and refrain

Deep in darkness we begin,
dark outside and deep within.
Now ignite a single flame,
shadows form, let light remain.
Flaming brightly, let love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

As they gleaned the word of life,
narrative of love and strife,
people through each age have known
yet more light: God's glory shown.
Flaming brightly, let love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

John the Baptist spoke out loud,
challenged that discordant crowd,
called each one toward the light,
see it growing, gleaming bright.
Flaming brightly, let love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

Mary wondered at her lot,
blessed? Or cursed? Or loved? Or not?
Angels came and glory shone
Feel the love, let light shine on
Flaming brightly, let love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

Look! a star is shining there
See the stable stark and bare.
Christmas dawns, all darkness gone!
Christ has come, the light shines on!
Flaming brightly, see love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

Andrew Pratt © Stainer & Bell Ltd. Available for local use by those having a CCL Licence. Administered in the USA by Hope Publishing

6/9/2002
Tune: DIX (As with gladness). Where no chorus is used "There's a spirit in the air". This is a new hymn for Advent candle lighting.


God's words have such a weight
SM

God's words have such a weight
that read, or heard or thought,
we sense an emphasis of love.
And such a love Christ brought.

The Word became a man
that human eyes could see,
a man who knew the pain of life
as heaven's refugee.

The echo of that Word
has rung from age to age
whenever love has conquered creed
when God had centre stage.

And is that Word still heard?
And does the Christ still sing?
When love cuts through our prejudice
yes! yes, God's word will ring!

Andrew Pratt (c) Stainer & Bell Ltd., administered by Hope Publishing in the USA
25/7/2002
On hearing a lecture about Philip Doddridge by the Rev Malcolm Deacon. The lecturer, it seemed, brought the subject matter alive and lifted him from the printed page. In the same way Jesus en-fleshed God's word. Possibly for Bible Sunday or Advent.


A is for Advent:
Season of joy,
Jesus is coming;
Worship this wonderful boy.

D is for Deliverer:
Fighting the wrong,
Jesus the Saviour;
Join in a welcoming song.

V for his Visit:
Banishing night,
Jesus the Day-star,
Candles of love are alight.

E for Excitement:
Yes, he will come,
Jesus expected,
Open your hearts to God's son.

N for his Nearness:
Comforting arm,
Jesus our brother,
Keeping his children from harm.

T for his Triumph:
Triumph of right,
Jesus is reigning,
Trust in his conquering might.

Cyril G. Hambly (born 1931)
© 1972 Stainer & Bell Ltd & The Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes
5.4.5.7.


As the darkness grows around us,
Shadows lengthen into night,
God fulfil your advent promise
In the gloom let there be light.

In our childhood's understanding
Life seemed limitless and free,
Now we face the contemplation
Of our own mortality.

Life seemed simple spread before us,
Now, distorted, futile, flawed;
Child-like hope has been extinguished,
Fear, with understanding, spawned.

Here in doubt and dereliction,
Searching for the reason why,
Hoping prayer might kindle kindness,
Hoping you might hear our cry.

Longing for your advent promise,
Light in darkness, joy for pain,
Hoping we might find the pathway
Back to life and love again.

Now we're startled by the stillness,
Stark surprise that you are there,
Then we're blinded by the dazzle
Of the dawning of your care!

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
© 1995 Stainer & Bell Ltd.
8 7 8 7 Trochaic


Christ is coming, Christ has come,
let the world prepare a room.
God says: Light! and makes our day;
fear and chaos lose their say.
In our darkness shines our Sun:
God has made a date with man.

1A
Christ is coming, Christ has come,
let the world prepare a room.
God says: Light! and makes our day;
fear and chaos lose their say.
In our darkness shines our Sun:
God has made a date with 'man'.

Christ has come, will come again,
parable of God-and-Man,
Lord of all our unborn days,
world-renewing turn of phrase,
Word in season for all time,
godly reason, godly rhyme.

Let the world make time and room
for the Man who is to come.
He, the centre of our feast,
makes himself of all the least.
Stones and voices all proclaim:
There is bread in Bethlehem!

Fred Kaan (born 1929)
© 1975 Stainer & Bell Ltd
7 7.7 7.7 7.


Come and be surprised, all nations,
here behold the love divine;
love to still all aspirations:
God concerned with humankind.
Come and see this speechless speaking,
see the Word in human form;
love through every barrier breaking,
love as basis, end and norm.

Come and see how Jesus entered
earthly life, as did we all;
see how kings and workers centred
round this baby in a stall.
See him, who in splendour great is,
for a time in homely care;
see how Christ in humble status
came with us our life to share.

To your holy invitation
we respond, and come, and see.
Kindle our imagination,
that our joy may lasting be.
Jesus, by your coming save us,
by your passion heal our pain;
let no fear nor death enslave us:
by your Easter may we reign!

Fred Kaan (born 1929)
© 1968 Stainer & Bell Ltd
8.7.8.7.D.


Come to us Wisdom from on high
Before whom all our follies fly;
Give your sweet order to all things
As through the world your prudence wings.
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Is born your saviour, Israel.

Lord of the earth, whom Moses saw
On Sinai when you gave the law,
Come once again in fire and flames
To set us free from evil's chains:
Chorus

Break into flower from Jesse's tree
And silence every enemy:
For you the longing nations pray;
Come down to save, make no delay:
Chorus

Come David's Key, throw wide the gate
For those who long in prison wait,
With power to bind or set us free,
Release us from sin's misery:
Chorus

As Morning Star, rise on our night
In splendour of eternal light;
Come shed on us the daylight's beam
Who in the darkness long have lain:
Chorus

O come, the nations' King, impart
To them the longing of their heart;
Unite us with that cornerstone
In whom the saved are built as one.
Chorus

Come and be known as God-with-us,
Ruler, Law-giver glorious;
The God for whom the peoples crave,
Come now to seek us and to save:
Chorus

Alan Luff (born 1928) translated from Veni Emmanuel
© Stainer & Bell Ltd.
LM & Refrain


Establish, Lord, your kingdom;
map out for us the way
where even in the darkness
our feet will never stray.
Lord, you make all things new.

We hail each dawn of promise
that rises with the sun,
as if it were your first day,
our first and only one.
Lord, you make all things new.

Give words, unheard, unspoken,
to fill our heart with song,
and teach us how to worship
with hands and feet and tongue.
Lord, you make all things new.

The world of fern and insect,
of fossil, gem and stone,
it links us with creation,
before our life began.
Lord, you make all things new.

From loneliness redeem us
and help us be at home
in your created order;
O come, Lord Jesus, come,
for you make all things new.

Fred Kaan (born 1929) translated from the Swedish of Anders Frostenson (fl. 1976)
English translation © 1976 Stainer & Bell Ltd
7.6.7.6.6.


God came in Jesus
Human life sharing;
Gave his life for us,
Suffered and died;
Then, Resurrection!
Death could not hold him;
By love's perfection
Death was denied.

Then as they waited,
All of a sudden,
Strong and elated,
freed of all cares;
With no misgiving,
Joyful apostles
Knew that his living
Spirit was theirs.

So let us greet his
Coming among us;
Let us still meet his
Love with delight;
Through resurrection
Joyfully taking
Love's new direction,
Flooded with light.

He will be coming,
Mighty and glorious,
Universe humming
Loud in acclaim;
Through resurrection,
All of creation,
Brought to perfection
Praising his name.

Alan Gaunt (born 1935)
© 1991 Stainer & Bell Ltd
5.5.5.4.D.


Here we go up to Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Bethlehem
Here we go up to Bethlehem,
On a cold and frosty morning.

We've got to be taxed in Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Bethlehem
We've got to be taxed in Bethlehem,
On a cold and frosty morning.

Where shall we stay in Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Bethlehem
Where shall we stay in Bethlehem,
On a cold and frosty morning?

Sydney Carter (born 1915)
© 1965 Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Irregular


How long, the prophets cried, how long
Before God puts an end to wrong,
Before Messiah sets us free
From every yoke and tyranny?
How long, O Lord, how long?

Vengeance, they knew, belongs to God;
Who smites the wicked with his rod:
But some, inspired by gospel grace,
Saw mercy in Messiah's face.
How long, O Lord, how long?

And now, at last, in God's good time
Shall Mary come to Bethlehem,
In great humility to bear
The Prince of Peace as David's heir.
He came, our Saviour came!

These Advent days, with loving care
And childlike joy, let us prepare
Our waiting churches, hearts and homes,
To make him welcome when he comes.
He comes, our Saviour comes!

Fred Pratt Green 1903-2000
© 1989 Stainer & Bell Ltd
8 8.8 8.6.


Jesus comes today!
Prepare to meet your God!
No Presidential cavalcade
encircles him with might;
the shepherds kiss a worker's child
who loves till all are reconciled:
Prepare to meet your God!

Jesus comes today!
Prepare to meet your God!
No massed Convention roars its praise
to hail the new messiah;
love has no powers to lay aside,
so crowds will have him crucified:
Prepare to meet your God!

Jesus comes today!
Prepare to meet your God!
No Primaries can pave his way
to be the people's choice;
he chooses us, and calls our name,
and life can never be the same:
Prepare to meet your God!

Brian Wren (born 1936)
© 1986 Stainer & Bell Ltd
5.6.8.6.8 8.6.


Jesus, Redeemer of us all,
Before the first light came to be,
You were the precious child of Love,
At one with God eternally.

Love's light and splendour, shining still,
To bring triumphant hope to birth,
Receive your people's heartfelt prayers,
Which rise to you from round the earth.

Remember how, Creation's Lord,
You came in history, to grace
A virgin womb, and there took shape,
As one among the human race.

The witness day comes round again,
The time of year when we recall
Your coming, from the heart of God,
By which you liberate us all.

The day when earth and sky and sea,
And all created things, unite
To greet your new-born infancy
With carollings of new delight.

We, too, so blessed since your shed blood
Released Love's healing stream, bring mirth
To swell the universal praise
And fête the day that marks your birth.

Alan Gaunt (born 1935) from Anonymous Latin Jesu, Redemptor omnium
© 1991 Stainer & Bell Ltd
L.M.


Let us rejoice in Christ,
Whose Kingdom is at hand!
He comes to be the Lord of Life
In every life and land.
Hosanna in the highest!
How blest is he who comes!

When, lowly-born, he came,
For us condemned to die,
They brought him to Jerusalem
With this triumphant cry:
Hosanna in the highest!
How blest is he who comes!

Rejoice that now he comes
In those who walk his way,
To make this stricken world his own,
And every day his day.
Hosanna in the highest!
How blest is he who comes!

Then let us yield to him
The loyalty he claims,
And never cease to celebrate
The Name above all names.
Hosanna in the highest:
The Name above all names!

Fred Pratt Green 1903-2000
© 1982 Stainer & Bell Ltd
6.6.8.6.7.6.


Like fields awaiting the sowing of the seed,
people are longing for God in all their need.
All the world cries for justice and peace that must be,
for life with new meaning, for truth to set them free.

Prophets proclaiming the word in Israel
tell of a baby, the world's Immanuel,
in the now of whose being, alongside as friend,
new hope will be kindled among all humankind.

Comfort, my people, exclaims a voice that cries,
hills must be levelled and valleys made to rise;
for our God's human coming we need to prepare
a highway for heaven to where the people are.

Born in a stable, into the here and now,
Jesus is present and - living! - shows us how
in our sisters and brothers God meets us today;
new freedom unites us, for love has come to stay!

Fred Kaan (born 1929) based on the Catalan by Alberto Taulé
© 1993 Stainer & Bell Ltd
11 11.12 12.


Long ago, prophets knew
Christ would come, born a Jew,
Come to make all things new;
Bear his People's burden,
Freely love and pardon.
Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
When he comes, When he comes,
Who will make him welcome?

God in time, God in man,
This is God's timeless plan:
He will come, as a man,
Born himself of woman,
God divinely human.
Chorus

2A
God in time, God in man,
This is God's timeless plan:
God will come, as a man,
Born himself of woman,
God divinely human.
Chorus

Mary hail! Though afraid,
She believed, she obeyed.
In her womb, God is laid:
Till the time expected,
Nurtured and protected,
Chorus

Journey ends! Where afar
Bethlem shines, like a star,
Stable door stands ajar.
Unborn Son of Mary,
Saviour, do not tarry!
Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!
Sing, choirs, sing, sing, sing!
Jesus comes!
Jesus comes!
We will make him welcome!

Fred Pratt Green 1903-2000
© 1971 Stainer & Bell Ltd
6 6 6.6 6. and chorus.


The Church, in Advent, from of old
Has heeded prophets who foretold
Messiah's reign of peace.
Then all our wars shall cease,
Our greed and hatred cease.

Beneath the heel of Greece and Rome
God's People trusted he would come,
In hope of him made strong,
How long, they cried, how long?
O Lord of Hosts, how long?

But now, at last, in God's good time,
Has Mary come to Bethlehem
Our Infant Lord to bear.
He comes as David's heir;
Of all our Kingdoms heir.

And Simeon sees, before he dies,
The Christ long promised by the wise
In prophesies and psalms.
He takes him in his arms,
He folds him in his arms.

These Advent days, with loving care
And childlike joy, we too prepare
Our churches, hearts, and homes.
O welcome, when he comes,
Our Saviour, when he comes.

Fred Pratt Green 1903-2000
© 1982 Stainer & Bell Ltd
8 8.6 6 6.


The holly and the ivy
Are dancing in a ring,
Round the berry-bright red candles,
And the white and shining King.

O, one is for the prophets
And for the light they bring.
They are candles in the darkness,
All alight for Christ the King.

And two for John the Baptist.
He calls on us to sing:
'O prepare the way for Jesus Christ.
He is coming, Christ the King.'
And three for Mother Mary.

'I cannot see the way,
But you promise me a baby.
I believe you. I obey.'
And four are for God's people,
In every age and day.

We are watching for his coming.
We believe and we obey.
And Christ is in the centre,
For this is his birthday,
With the shining nights of Christmas

Singing, 'He has come today.'
Emily Chisholm (1910-1991)
© 1972 Stainer & Bell Ltd
7.6.8.7. Irregular


Tomorrow Christ is coming
as yesterday he came;
a child is born this moment
- we do not know its name.
The world is full of darkness,
again there is no room;
the symbols of existence
are stable, cross and tomb.

Tomorrow will be Christmas,
the feast of love divine,
but for the nameless millions
the star will never shine.
Still is the census taken
with people on the move;
new infants born in stables
are crying out for love.

There will be no tomorrows
for many a baby born.
Good Friday falls on Christmas
when life is sown as corn.
But Jesus Christ is risen
and comes again in bread
to still our deepest hunger
and raise us from the dead.

Our God becomes incarnate
in every human birth.
Created in God's image,
we must make peace on earth.
God will fulfil Love's purpose
and this shall be the sign:
we shall find Christ among us
as woman, child or man.

Fred Kaan (born 1929)
© 1968 Stainer & Bell Ltd
7.6.7.6.D.


When he comes back, when he comes back,
Our lamps will be burning to welcome him when he comes back.

The master has proclaimed that he will return
On a night when there's no one expecting to see him at all.
Keep oil in the lamps so they're ready to burn
On the night of his secret, when those who are waiting he'll call.
Chorus

Look not for his presence in heaven's dark space;
By the light of our living on earth, we'll discover his face.
For the face of the master is always at hand
In the hungry, the poor, in the stranger - in the face of a man.
Chorus

This stranger will search for his home in the night,
And then how will he find it, unless all the windows are bright?
But if we are waiting, why then, he'll come in -
And there'll be a homecoming with dancing and singing within.
Chorus

Malcolm Stewart (born 1925)
© 1969 Stainer & Bell Ltd
11.15.11.15. Irregular & Refrain


Who comes? A child,
delivered on a stable floor.
His mewing, newborn cry
is all that God can say
of costly, unprotected love
in Christ, alive today.
Come, singing fire
of truth, compassion, right,
and melt our hardened apathy,
till love is new and bright.

Who comes? A Jew,
declaiming from a prophet's scroll.
His liberating cry
is all that God can say
of seeking, giving, freeing love
in Christ, alive today.
Come, singing breeze,
from worlds already new.
Blow in and out of weary minds,
till faith is singing too.

Who comes? A man,
in dying moments on a cross.
His godforsaken cry
is all that God can say
of faithful, never-ending love
in Christ, alive today.
Come, singing light
from new creation's dawn,
where trees of healing deck the streets,
and joy is newly born.

Brian Wren (born 1936)
© 1986, 1996 Stainer & Bell Ltd
Irregular


With humble justice clad and crowned,
the Christ of God will come again
and sing in every land on earth
the song begun at Bethlehem,
and justice shall defend the poor
as barn and warehouse give their grain,
and all the hungry, richly filled,
shall feel that Christ has come again.

The Word of truth will free the oppressed,
and, justly judging every need,
will end the power of flaunted wealth,
and cruel, quiet, systemic greed.
The violence of selfish lust
to have and hold at any cost
will know at last that God is just,
and face the final Pentecost:

As thunderclouds of love rain down
life-giving, universal showers,
the meek will rule, and thus redeem
earth's high authorities and powers,
as workers dance with heads of state,
and all unite, embrace and bring
the richest fruits of hand and brain
in homage to the humblest king.

Say not that justice never dawns,
that peace on earth will never come.
The promise shines from Bethlehem,
for all, forever, like the sun.
Along the highway of the weak,
the poorest and the most distressed,
Christ comes again, and yet again,
till earth, and all on earth, are blessed.

Brian Wren (born 1936)
© 1993 Stainer & Bell Ltd
LMD


Deep in darkness we begin,
dark outside and deep within.
Now ignite a single flame,
shadows form, let light remain.
Flaming brightly, let love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

As they gleaned the word of life,
narrative of love and strife,
people through each age have known
yet more light: God's glory shown.
Flaming brightly, let love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

John the Baptist spoke out loud,
challenged that discordant crowd,
called each one toward the light,
see it growing, gleaming bright.
Flaming brightly, let love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

Mary wondered at her lot,
blessed? Or cursed? Or loved? Or not?
Angels came and glory shone
Feel the love, let light shine on
Flaming brightly, let love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

Look! a star is shining there
See the stable stark and bare.
Christmas dawns, all darkness gone!
Christ has come, the light shines on!
Flaming brightly, see love shine,
flaming out through space and time.

Andrew Pratt
© 2002 Stainer & Bell Ltd

6/9/2002
Tune: There's a spirit in the air - when no chorus is used. A new hymn for Advent candle lighting. A tune is being written.




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