Wednesday, October 19, 2022

392. Christmas 1 (Series B)

Oh, the lectionary awkwardness! Christmas 1 (the first, and sometimes only, Sunday between Christmas and Epiphany) has the same Gospel lesson (Luke 2:22-40) in Series B as in Series C. This makes more sense in Year C, which is generally devoted to Luke's gospel; but Mark has no infancy-of-Jesus narratives, so there you are. Then there's the Epistle for Christmas 1 (Galatians 4:4-7), which Series A and B share; I can't dream up an explanation for that. The O.T. lesson is Isaiah 61:10 to 62:3, the first two verses of which were part of the first lesson for Advent 3 (Series B). So I had to dance around the danger of repetition in this hymn.

The tune is ST. DUNSTAN'S by C. Winfred Douglas (†1944), which was an alternate tune (to MONK'S GATE) for "He (or All) who would valiant be" in SBH, LBW and LW. I don't think MONK'S GATE can ever shake off the stench of Puritanism from Percy Dearmer's hymn ("after John Bunyan"), but I don't feel this tune is tainted as deeply by it, so I'm willing to give it another spin.

When time had fully come
For sinners' sparing,
God sent His holy Son,
Pure maiden bearing
Him who our race's curse
Would at one blow reverse,
Good tidings to disperse
To the despairing.

Now to Jerusalem
And every nation
His light at last has come,
Showing salvation.
"Abba!" our spirit cries,
To our Redeemer flies;
For our adoption lies
On this foundation.

Now to the Virgin's Son
Our praise be offered,
Who all our work has done,
All our woes suffered!
As our birthpangs increase,
Soon let us go in peace
And see Your masterpiece
Plainly uncovered!

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