This Christmastide, as always, we invite you to pray with the beautiful, familiar texts of the Gospel. Alongside them, you may also like to reflect this year on five early Christmas carol texts, all inspired by Scripture passages dealing with some aspect of the Nativity. Most were written between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries in either English or Latin, and all were set to music by the composer Benjamin Britten for his Ceremony of Carols (1942), for choristers and harp.
Hodie Christus natus est: hodie Salvator apparuit: hodie in terra canunt angeli: laetantur archangeli: hodie exsultant justi dicentes: Gloria in excelsis Deo! Alleluia!
Today Christ was born: today the Saviour appeared: today on earth the angels sing: the archangels rejoice: today the righteous celebrate saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest. Alleluia!’