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Third Sunday in Advent

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

From the Lesson. [Is. 25:9]


Wie soll ich dich empfangen

Paul Gerhardt. 1653.

trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855

How shall I meet Thee? How my heart

Receive her Lord aright?

Desire of all the earth Thou art!

My hope, my sole delight!

Kindle the Lamp, Thou Lord, alone,

Half-dying in my breast,

And make thy gracious pleasure known

How I may greet Thee best.

Her budding boughs and fairest palms

Thy Zion strews around;

And songs of praise and sweetest psalms

From my glad heart shall sound.

My desert soul breaks forth in flowers,

Rejoicing in Thy fame;

And puts forth all her sleeping powers,

To honour Jesus' name.


In heavy bonds I languished long,

Thou com'st to set me free;

The scorn of every mocking tongue--

Thou com'st to honour me.

A heavenly crown wilt Thou bestow,

And gifts of priceless worth,

That vanish not as here below,

The fading wealth of earth.

Nought, nought, dear Lord, had power to move

Thee from Thy rightful place,

Save that most strange and blessed Love

Wherewith Thou dost embrace

This weary world and all her woe,

Her load of grief and ill

And sorrow, more than man can know;--

Thy love is deeper still.

Oh write this promise in your hearts,

Ye sorrowful, on whom

Fall thickening cares, while joy departs

And darker grows your gloom.

Despair not, for your help is near,

He standeth at the door

Who best can comfort you and cheer,

He comes, nor stayeth more.

Nor vex your souls with care, nor grieve

And labour longer thus,

As though your arm could ought achieve,

And bring Him down to us.

He comes, He comes with ready will,

By pity moved alone,

To soothe our every grief and ill,

For all to Him is known.


Nor ye, O sinners, shrink aside,

Afraid to see His face,

Your darkest sins our Lord will hide

Beneath His pitying grace.

He comes, He comes to save from sin,

And all its pangs assuage,

And for the sons of God to win

Their proper heritage.

Why heed ye then the craft and noise,

The fury of His foes?

Lo, in a breath the Lord destroys

All who His rule oppose.

He comes, He comes, as King to reign!

All earthly powers may band

Against Him, yet they strive in vain,

His might may none withstand.

He comes to judge the earth, and ye

Who mocked Him, feel His wrath;

But they who loved and sought Him see

His light o'er all their path.

O Sun of Righteousness! arise,

And guide us on our way

To yon fair mansion in the skies

Of joyous cloudless day.

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