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VOXmas

December 19, 2023

Trinity Lutheran Church | Grand Rapids

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Artistic Director
Dr. Christopher Mason

VOXmas Artists

Texts & Translations

Sussex Carol

On Christmas night all Christians sing,

to hear the news the angels bring;

news of great joy, news of great mirth.

news of our merciful King's birth.

 

Then why should men on earth be sad,

since our Redeemer made us glad;

when from our sin he set us free,

all for to gain our liberty.

 

When sin departs before his grace

then life and health come in its place.

Angels and men with joy may sing,

all for to see the newborn King.

 

All out of darkness we have light, 

which made the angels sing this night;

"Glory to God in highest heaven

Now and for evermore," Amen! 

 

-English Carol

Watching and Waiting

 

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

(Please stand and join in singing)

O come, O come Emmanuel,

and ransom captive Israel,

that mourns in lonely exhile here 

until the Son of God appear. 

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 

shall come to you, O Israel.

O Come, O Wisdom from on high, 

embracing all things far and nigh:

in strength and beauty come and stay;

teach us your will and guide our way.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 

shall come to you, O Israel.

O Come, O Branch of Jesse free

your own from Satan's tyranny;

from depths of hell your people save,

and give them vict'ry o'er the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 

shall come to you, O Israel.

Where the Light Begins

Perhaps it does not begin.
Perhaps it is always.

Perhaps it takes
a lifetime
to open our eyes,
to learn to see
what has forever
shimmered in front of us—

the luminous line
of the map
in the dark

the vigil flame
in the house
of the heart

the love
so searing
we cannot keep
from singing,
from crying out.

Perhaps this day
the light begins
in us.

 

—Jan Richardson (b. 1967)

 

Advent "O" Carol

O, we long for your coming, O Wisdom; 

we long for your coming O Lord. 

Come and teach us the way of understanding; 

You are the living word.

O Sapentia.

 

O, we long for you, O Lord and Ruler; 

we long for your coming, O Lord.

Come and stretch out your arms and redeem us; 

You are the living word.

O Adonai.

 

O, we long for you, O Root of Jesse; 

we long for your coming, O Lord.

Come to deliver us and do not tarry; 

You are the living word.

O Radix Jesse.

 

O, we long for you, O key of David; 

we long for your coming, O Lord.

Come and bring forth the captive from his prison, 

who sits in the shadow of death.

O Clavis David.

 

O Dawn of the East, 

we long for your coming, O Lord.

Come and lighten those who sit in darkness 

and in the shadow of death.

O Oriens.

 

O, we long for you, O King of the Gentiles; 

we long for your coming, O Lord.

Come and deliver man 

whom you formed out of dust of the earth.

O Rex Gentium.

 

O Emmanuel! 

When will you come? 

 

Come to save us, O Lord our God.

 

O Ero Cras,

Tomorrow I will come.

 

-Adapted from the Seven “O” Magnificat Antiphons

The Passing of the Year 1: Invocation

 

O Earth, O Earth, return!

 

-William Blake

Rosa Mystica

The Passing of the Year 2: The narrow bud opens her beauties to the sun

 

The narrow bud opens her beauties to

The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;

Blossoms hang round the brows of morning, and

Flourish down the bright cheek of modest eve,

Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,

And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

 

The spirits of the air live on the smells

Of fruit; and joy, with pinions light, roves round

The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.

 

-William Blake

 

Nesciens mater

 

Nesciens mater virgo virum
peperit sine dolore
salvatorem saeculorum.
Ipsum regem angelorum
sola virgo lactabat,
ubere de caelo pleno.

 

The Virgin mother, who knew no man, 

painlessly bore the Saviour of all ages. 

It was only the Virgin that nursed 

the King of angels at her breast

filled with the milk of heavenly goodness.

-Antiphon for the Nativity


Bogoroditse Devo

Bogoróditse Dévo, ráduisya,
Blagodátnaya Maríye, Gospód s tobóyu.
Blagoslovyéna ty v zhenákh,
i blagoslovyén plod chryéva tvoyevó,
yáko Spása rodilá yesí dush náshikh.

 

Rejoice, mother of God,

Mary, full of Grace, The Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

and blessed is the fruit of your womb,

for you have borne the Savior of our souls.

 

-Vespers Canticle

 

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming 

(Please stand and join in singing)

 

Lo. how a rose e'er blooming

from tender stem hath sprung!

Of Jesse's lineage coming

as seers of old have sung, 

it came a flow'r so bright,

amid the cold of winter,

when half-spent was the night.

 

Isaiah had foretold it, 

the rose I have in mind;

with Mary we behold it, 

the virgin mother kind. 

To show God's love aright, 

she bore to us a Savior,

when half-spent was the night.

 

This flow'r, whose fragrance tender

with sweetness fills the air, 

dispels with glorious splendor 

the darkness ev'rywhere.

True man, yet very God, 

from sin and death he saves us

and lightens ev'ry load. 
 

O Great Mystery

Vamos al portal

 

Vamos al portal, 

que vengo spantado,

de ver un zagal 

cuya vista's tal

que da luz al soto 

y al valle y al prado.

 

En el alta cumbre 

me subí por ver 

de qué pudo ser

tan divina lumbre,

y vide un zagal 

con su madre al lado,

Virgen celestial

en cuya vista está'l 

que da luz al soto 

y al valle y al prado.

 

Let us go to the doorway, 

for I come frightened

to see a Shepherd

whose glance is such

that it lights the grove,

the valley, and the meadow.

 

On the high summit
I went up to see
what could possibly be 

such divine light, 

and I saw a shepherd
with his mother by his side, 

celestial Virgin
in whose gaze is that
which lights the grove,
the valley, and the meadow. 

 

-Villancico on the Nativity

O magnum mysterium

O magnum mysterium,

et admirabile sacramentum,

ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,

iacentem in praesepio!

 

O great mystery,

and wonderful sacrament,

that animals should see the newborn Lord,

lying in a manger!

-Responsorial chant for Matins of Christmas
 

The Christ-child

 

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap, 

His hair was like a light.

(O weary, weary were the world, 

But here is all aright.)

 

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast, 

His hair was like a star.

(O stern and cunning are the kings, 

But here the true hearts are.)

 

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart, 

His hair was like a fire.

(O weary, weary is the world,

But here the world’s desire.)

 

The Christ-child stood at Mary’s knee, 

His hair was like a crown,

And all the flowers looked up at Him, 

And all the stars looked down.

 

-Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)
 

Behold The Star!

 

Behold the star! Behold the star up yonder!

Behold the star! It is the star of Bethlehem.

There was no room found in the inn, 

For Him who was born free from sin.

 

The wise men came from the East,

To worship Him, the “Prince of Peace.”

A song broke forth upon the night,

Peace, peace on earth, good will to men.

 

-African-American Spiritual on the Epiphany

 

Go Tell It on the Mountain

(Please stand and join in singing)

Refrain:

Go Tell it on the mountain, 

over the hills and ev'rywhere;

go tell it on the mountain

that Jesus Christ is born!

 

While shepherds kept their watching

o'er silent flocks by night,

behold, throughout the heavens

there shone a holy light.

Refrain.

 

The shepherds feared and tremled

when, lo, above the earth

rang out the angle chorus

that hailed our Savior's birth.

Refrain.

 

Down in a lonely manger

the humble Christ was born;

and God sent us salvation

that blessed Christmas morn.

Refrain.
 

Travelers' Journey

The Passing of the Year 5. Ah, Sun-flower!

 

Ah, Sun-flower! weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the Sun,

Seeking after that sweet golden clime

Where the traveller’s journey is done:

 

Where the Youth pined away with desire,

And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow

Arise from their graves, and aspire

Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.

 

-William Blake

The First Noel 

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,

Born is the King of Israel.

The first Noel, the angels did say,

Was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay.

In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,

On a cold winter’s night that was so deep. Refrain.

 

They looked up and saw a star

Shining in the east, beyond them far.

And to the earth it gave great light,

And so it continued both day and night. Refrain

 

Then let us all with one accord

Sing praises to our heav’nly Lord,

That hath made heav’n and earth of naught,

And with His blook mankind hath bought. Refrain.

 

-English Carol 

On this Silent Night

 

Frosty fields are laid to rest.

In the air, an arctic breath brings snow, 

blowing snow is drifting deep.

 

Frozen trees, protectors, see me safe in sleep, 

wrapped in dreams while the cold winds blow.

 

Cloaked in slumber with firelight dancing, 

and all is calm on this silent night.

Frosty fields, frozen trees, 

sleep in heavenly peace.

 

Cloaked in slumber with firelight dancing, 

yet all is calm while the storm blows on.

 

Cloaked in slumber with firelight dancing, 

wrapped in sleep with dreams enchanting, 

yet all is calm while the storm blows on,

on this silent night.

 

-Sarah Quartel

We Three Kings

(Please stand and join in singing)

We three kings of Orient are; 

bearing gifts we traverse afar. 

field and fountain, moor and mountain,

following yonder star.

Refrain:

Oh, star of wonder, star of night

star with royal beauty bright;

westward leading, still proceeding, 

guide us to they perfect light!

Born a king on Bethlehem's plain,

gold i bright to crown him again;

king forever, ceasing never, 

over us all to reign. 

Refrain.

Glorious now behold him arise, 

King and God and Sacrifice; 
heav'n sings alleluia;

alleluia the earth replies.

Refrain

Bells

River

 

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
I wish I had a river I could skate away on
I made my baby cry

He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on

I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

Oh, I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby say goodbye

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river I could skate away on

 

-Joni Mitchell

 

The Passing of the Year 7. Ring out, wild bells

 

O Earth, O Earth, return!

 

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

 

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

 

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

 

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the time;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

 

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

 

-Alfred Lord Tennyson 

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DONORS & SPONSORS

Anonymous

Joshua Albert

Dr. Harlori & Jaspreet Bains

Pammi & Paul Bains

Sukhvinder Bains

Mark Becker

Dennis Buteyn

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Victor Chang

Dr. Edward Chen

Marianne Ciccolella | In Memory of Gurdip Bains

Sarah Collier

Sue Cooley

Scott Davidson

Christina Dekoekkoek

Gary Eberle

De Priest Family Foundation, INC.

Jake Herrera

Debbie Gilmore | In Honor of Dr. Christopher Mason

Susan Grogan | In Memory of Don Vanderpool

Laura Kozminski

L3Harris Via Blackbaud Giving Fund

Lauri Mason | In Honor of Dr. Christopher Mason

Barbara McCargar

Nathalie Meyer

Emily Volz Mills

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Joshua Plant

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Dr. Monique Salinas

Harry Singh | In Honor of Jaspreet Bains

Christopher Start

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Anita & Dr. Sarabjit Tokhie

Dr. Harnoor & Avni Tokhie

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Dr. Susan Sevensma

Janice Mason Vanderpool | In Honor of Dr. Christopher Mason

Julie Volz

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Lambert Zuidervaart

and other contributions we received from our past concerts.

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