1 O God, today we may forget
How awful and how great art Thou,
The terrors that our sins have set
Around Thy throne, about Thy brow;
Thy will, unsearchable to man,
Thy power that hath encompassed all—
That whirled the spheres, ere time began,
And marked rebellious angels’ fall.
2 O Jesus, now we cannot weep;
Thy cross transfigured seems to rise.
Celestial armies round it keep
Eternal vigil in the skies.
We cannot feel Thy suffering,
Nor see Thy coronet of thorn;
We only hear the seraphs sing
That Christ, the Prince of Peace, is born.
3 O Holy Ghost, our Father’s gift,
Suffuse our inmost beings, till
Immortal joy our spirits lift,
And holds them captive to Thy will.
Today Thou dost not come to chide,
Or bring our guilt before Thy face;
But, pure and clean, we may abide
In Thine own secret dwelling place.
4 A little child to us is given,
A tender halo on His head,
His smile hath caught the light of Heaven,
And human woe is comforted!
He sleeps in every stricken breast,
He gazes into weary eyes.
And lo! a blessèd peace and rest
Steals on our hearts from Paradise.
5 Ah, soul of mine, canst thou withstand
The presence of that Child divine,
Or thrust aside the little hand
He lays so trustingly in thine?
Oh! join the world’s great hymn of love,
That never ending, rapturous lay!
While cherubim and saints above
Adore the Babe of Christmas day.
The tune CREATION is taken from the chorus “The Heavens Are Telling” from the well known oratorio The Creation (1798) by Franz Joseph Haydn (b. Rohrau, Austria, 1732; d. Vienna, Austria, 1809). Haydn's life was relatively uneventful, but his artistic legacy was truly astounding. He began his mus…