The people that walked in darknesshas seen a great light;on those who live in a land of deep shadowa light has shone.You have made their gladness greater,you have made their joy increase;they rejoice in your presenceas men rejoice at harvest time,as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.For the yoke that was weighing on him,the bar across his shoulders,the rod of his oppressor,these you break as on the day of Midian.For all the footgear of battle,every cloak rolled in blood,is burnt,and consumed by fire.For there is a child born for us,a son given to usand dominion is laid on his shoulders;and this is the name they give him:Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God,Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.Wide is his dominionin a peace that has no end,for the throne of Davidand for his royal power,which he establishes and makes securein justice and integrity.From this time onwards and for ever,the jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will do this.
God’s grace has been revealed to the whole human race
God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.
Alleluia, alleluia!I bring you news of great joy:today a saviour has been born to us, Christ the Lord.Alleluia!
‘In the town of David a saviour has been born to you’
Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken. This census – the first – took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn. In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turns to watch their flocks during the night. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising God and singing:‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,and peace to men who enjoy his favour.’