Wednesday, December 25, 2013

45. Christmas Hymn for the Unborn

O blessed birth, Love's condescension,
That made the womb a holy place;
Fulfillment of God's kind intention,
Bestowing favor on our race:
What peace is ours, what comfort, joy,
All swaddled with this lovely Boy!

'Twas not her reason, will, or merit
That filled the Virgin full of grace,
But that which was of God the Spirit,
Express from God's most holy face:
Behold, the temple God has built
To purge mankind of shame and guilt!

That lady ran to greet another,
Her hail exuberantly flung;
The prophet leapt within his mother
And inspiration to her tongue:
"Behold how God deals graciously!
My unborn Savior visits me!"

O gentle Savior of all mortals
Who, saving You, are born in sin,
We who have passed the world's first portals
Now likewise plead for those within:
You who the womb deigned not to scorn,
Have mercy on those yet unborn!

Such honor, Christ, Your birth once granted
To every stock and state of men;
Now that in death Your flag is planted,
Restore life's dignity again!
Since You once died that all might live,
Stay those who kill! Rebuke! Forgive!

Teach us to cherish young and old, Lord,
Barren or fertile, strong or weak;
Let all Your lambs be gathered fold-ward,
And make their shepherds bold to speak
That, knowing You, incarnate Love,
They be reborn, born from above!

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