Be joyful! It’s Christmas!

As the United Kingdom and then the United States and Canada wake up to Christmas Eve, here in New Zealand we are watching the sun go down with Christmas Day just a few hours away.

In our local parish, the vigil mass is over, which I reckon means Christmas is here, and certainly by the time you read this, I’ll either be at church or putting the finishing touches to the dinner.

So here’s the joyful song that sums up how I feel about Christmas.

It is an ancient Latin hymn, with the lyrics below (rough English translation after).

Gaudete, Gaudete!
Christus et natus
Ex maria virgine,

(Rejoice, Rejoice!
Christ is born
Of the virgin Mary,

Tempus ad est gratiae,
Hoc quod optabamus;
Carmina laetitiae,
Devote redamus.

(It is now the time of grace
That we have desired;
Let us sing songs of joy,
Let us give devotion.)

Deus homo factus est,
Natura mirante;
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante.

(God was made man,
And nature marvels;
The world was renewed
By Christ who is King.)

Ezechiellis porta
Clausa pertransitur;
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.

(The closed gate of Ezechiel
Has been passed through;
From where the light rises
Salvation is found.)

Ergo nostra cantio,
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.

(Therefore let our assembly now sing,
Sing the Psalms to purify us;
Let it praise the Lord:
Greetings to our King.)

Merry Christmas to you all.



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