Christmas Eve Service
December 24 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Noel: Christmas Eve 1913
Robert Bridges – 1844-1930
Pax hominibus bonae voluntatis
A frosty Christmas Eve when the stars were shining… Fared I forth alone where westward falls the hill,… And from many a village in the water’d valley…Distant music reach’d me peals of bells aringing:
The constellated sounds ran sprinkling on earth’s floor…As the dark vault above with stars was spangled o’er…Then sped my thoughts to keep that first Christmas of all…
When the shepherds watching by their folds ere the dawn…Heard music in the fields and marveling could not tell…Whether it were angels or the bright stars singing.
Now blessed be the tow’rs that crown England so fair…That stand up strong in prayer unto God for our souls…Blessed be their founders (said I) an’ our country folk…
Who are ringing for Christ in the belfries to-night…With arms lifted to clutch the rattling ropes that race…Into the dark above and the mad romping din.
But to me heard afar it was starry music…Angels’ song, comforting as the comfort of Christ…When he spake tenderly to his sorrowful flock:
The old words came to me by the riches of time…Mellow’d and transfigured as I stood on the hill…Heark’ning in the aspect of th’ eternal silence.