Lesson 1: Prophecy
Lesson 2: Annunciation
Lesson 3: Birth of Jesus
Lesson 4: Shepherds
Lesson 5: Magi
Lesson 6: Conclusion
English Traditional – This is the Truth Sent from Above

This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love;
Therefore don’t turn me from your door,
But hearken all both rich and poor.

And at this season of the year
Our blest Redeemer did appear
He here did live, and here did preach,
And many thousands He did teach.

Thus He in love to us behaved,
To show us how we must be saved
And if you want to know the way
Be pleased to hear what He did say.

God grant to all within this place
True saving faith—that special grace,
Which to His people doth belong—
And thus I close my Christmas song.

Fogg – Hope is a Star

Hope is a star that shines in the night,
Leading is on till the morning is bright.
When God is a child there’s joy in our song.
The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong
And none shall be afraid.

Peace is a ribbon that circles the earth,
Giving a promise of safety and worth.
When God is a child…

Joy is a song that welcomes the dawn,
Telling the world that the Saviour is born.
When God is a child…

Love is a flame that burns in our heart,
Jesus has come and will never depart.
When God is a child…

Rivers – Ecce Dominus Veniet

Behold, the Lord comes and all his saints with Him
And on that day there will be great light, alleluia.

Anon. – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, o come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee,
O Israel!

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice!…

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice!…

Anon. – Angelus ad Virginem

The angel came to the Virgin,
Entering secretly into her room;
Calming the Virgin’s fear, he said, “Hail!
Hail, queen of virgins:
You will conceive the Lord of heaven and earth
And bear him, still a virgin,
To be the salvation of mankind;
You will be made the gate of heaven,
The cure of sins.”

“How can I conceive,
When I have never known a man?
How can I transgress
Resolutions that I have vowed with a firm mind?”
The grace of the Holy Spirit
Shall do all this.
Do not be afraid, but rejoice
Without a care, since your chastity
Will remain in you unspoiled
Through the power of God.”

To this, the noble Virgin,
Replying, said to him,
“I am the humble maidservant
Of almighty God.
To you, heavenly messenger,
And bearer of such a great secret,
I give my consent, and wishing to see
Done what I hear,
I am ready to obey
The will of God.”

Praetorius – Joseph lieber, Joseph mein

Joseph, my dear Joseph,
Help me rock my little child.
God will recompense you
In heaven, the Virgin Mary’s child.

Hey, hey! The Virgin has given birth to God
Whom the divine mercy willed.

Now let all sing together,
Sing to the newborn king,
Saying with devout voice,
“Glory be to Christ our babe!”

Today the one whom Gabriel predicted
Has appeared in Israel, has been born king.

Basque Traditional – Gabriel’s Message

The angel Gabriel from Heaven came.
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lovely maiden Mary.
Most highly favoured lady.” Gloria.

“For know a blessed mother thou shalt be.
All generations laud and honour thee,
Thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold.
Most highly favoured lady.” Gloria.

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head.
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy Name.”
Most highly favoured lady. Gloria.

Saint-Saëns – Tollite Hostias

Bring offerings, and adore the Lord in his holy place.
Rejoice, Heaven, and exult, all the earth,
Before the Lord, for he comes.
Alleluia.

German Traditional – O Little One Sweet

O little one sweet, O little one mild,
Thy Father’s purpose thou hast fulfilled;
Thou cam’st from heav’n to mortal ken,
Equal to be with us poor men,
O little one sweet, O little one mild.

O little one sweet, O little one mild,
With joy thou has the whole world filled;
Thou camest here from heaven’s domain,
To bring men comfort in their pain,
O little one sweet, O little one mild.

O little one sweet, O little one mild,
In thee love’s beauties are all distilled;
Then light in us thy love’s bright flame,
That we may give thee back the same,
O little one sweet, O little one mild.

English Traditional – Past Three A Clock

Past three a clock,
And a cold frosty morning:
Past three a clock;
Good morrow, masters all!

1. Born is a baby,
Gentle as may be,
Son of th’eternal
Father supernal.
Past three…

2. Seraph quire singeth,
Angel bell ringeth:
Hark how they rime it,
Time it, and chime it.
Past three…

8. Thus they: I pray you,
Up, sirs, nor stay you
Till ye confess him
Likewise, and bless him.
Past three…

English Traditional – God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

1. God rest you merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our saviour, was born upon this day,
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r when we were gone astray:
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

2. From God our heav’nly Father a blessed angel came,
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name:
O tidings…

5. Now to the Lord sing praises, all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface:
O tidings…

French Traditional – Quittez Pasteurs

Leave, shepherds,
Your sheep, your crooks,
Your hamlet
And the care of the flock;
Change your tears
In a perfect joy,
Go, all, to adore
A God who comes to comfort you.

You will see,
Laid in a manger,
Like a naked child,
Poor, languishing;
Recognize
His ineffable love
For coming to us.
He is the faithful shepherd.

Kings of the Orient!
The star illuminates you;
To this grand king
Pay homage and faith.
The brilliant star
Leads you to the light
From this nascent sun.
Offer gold, myrrh, and incense.

Anon. – Quem Pastores

The One who the shepherds praised,
And about whom the Angels told:
“Abandon your present fears,”
The King of Glory is born.

To Him the Kings walked,
Carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh,
Offering them religiously,
For the Lion’s victory.

Let us rejoice with Mary,
In union with the celestial hierarchy,
Singing a pious song to the newborn,
That is sweet in its melody.

Este’s Psalter – While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night

1. While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down and glory shone around.

2. “Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread had seized their troubled mind;
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring to you and all mankind.

3. To you in David’s town this day is born of David’s line
A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, and this shall be the sign.

6. All Glory be to God on high, and to the Earth be peace;
Good will henceforth from heav’n to men begin and never cease!”

Nicolai – Wie schön leuchtet der morgenstern

How beautifully shines the morning star
Full of grace and truth from the Lord,
The sweet root of Jesse!
You son of David from the line of Jacob,
My king and my bridegroom,
Have taken possession of my heart,
Lovely, friendly,
Beautiful and glorious, great and honourable,
Rich in gifts,
Lofty and exalted in splendour!

Ah my pearl, my precious crown,
True son of God and Mary,
A king of most noble birth!
My heart calls you a lily,
Your sweet gospel
Is pure milk and honey.
Ah my dear flower,
Hosanna, heavenly manna,
That we eat,
I cannot forget you!

Provençal Traditional – La Marche des Rois Mages

Early in the morning, I encountered the procession
Of three great Kings who were going on a journey,
Early in the morning, I encountered the procession
Of three great Kings on the great road.

First came the troop of guards,
The men-at-arms with thirty little pages,
First came the troop of guards,
The men-at-arms in their waistcoats.

Then, on a chariot, gilded on all sides,
One sees three kings as modest as angels.
Then, on a chariot, gilded on all sides,
Three kings stand amidst the standards.

The star shines and leads the kings
By long roads before a poor stable.
The star shines and leads the kings
By long roads before the humble shed.

To the Son of God who was born in this place
They come to present their respects.
To the Son of God who was born in this place
They come to present their dear prayers.

Berlioz – The Shepherds’ Farewell

Thou must leave thy lowly dwelling,
The humble crib, the stable bare,
Babe, all mortal babes excelling,
Content our earthly lot to share.
Loving father, loving mother,
Shelter thee with tender care!
Loving father, loving mother,
Shelter thee with tender care!

Blessed Jesus, we implore thee
With humble love and holy fear,
In the land that lies before thee
Forget not us who linger here.
May the shepherd’s lowly calling
Ever to thy heart be dear!
May the shepherd’s lowly calling
Ever to thy heart be dear!

Hopkins, Jr. – We Three Kings

We Three Kings of Orient are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O Star of Wonder, Star of Night,
Star with Royal Beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect Light.

Born a King on Bethlehem plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.
O Star…

Frankincense to offer have I,
Incense owns a Deity nigh:
Prayer and praising, all men raising,
Worship Him, God on High.
O Star…

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, breathing, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.
O Star…

Glorious now behold him arise,
King and God and sacrifice:
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
Sounds through the earth and skies.
O Star…

Mendelssohn – Weihnachten

Rejoice, ye people of the earth, and praise God!
The redeemer is come, whom the Lord has promised.
He has revealed his justice to the world.
Hallelujah!

English Traditional – The Holly and the Ivy

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.

O, the rising of the sun and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.

(Verses to be selected from the following)

The holly bears a blossom as white as lily flow’r,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet Saviour.
O, the rising…

The holly bears a berry as red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ for to do us sinners good.
O, the rising…

The holly bears a prickle as sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ on Christmas day in the morn.
O, the rising…

The holly bears a bark as bitter as any gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ for to redeem us all.
O, the rising…

English Traditional – Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath’ring winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know’st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, by St. Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
Thou and I shall see him dine when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind grows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how, I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps good, my page, tread thou in them boldly;
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted,
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.

Traditional – O Come, All Ye Faithful

1. O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him, born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

3. Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Heav’n above;
Glory to God in the highest!
O come…

4. Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory giv’n;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:
O come…

Traditional – Wassail Medley

Yorkshire Wassail
1. We’ve been a while a-wandering amongst the leaves so green,
But now we come a-wassailing so plainly to be seen,
For it’s Christmas time, when we travel far and near,
May God bless you and send you a happy New Year.

2. We are not daily beggars that beg from door to door;
We are THE ROSEWOOD CONSORT whom you have seen before.
For it’s Christmas time…

Gloucestershire Wassail
1. Wassail, wassail all over the town,
Our bread it is white and our ale it is brown,
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree,
With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.

7. Then here’s to the maid in the lily white smock,
Who tripped to the door and slipped back the lock,
Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin,
For to let THE ROSEWOOD CONSORT in!