The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

And Can It Be That God Is Born

"Knowing Him In The Breaking of Bread"

A Communion Hymn For Christmas

Words: William Chatterton Dix (1837-1865)

Music: Not Stated

Source: William Chatterton Dix, ed., Altar Songs - Verses On The Holy Eucharist. Second Edition, Enlarged. (London: John Hodges, 1868), Hymn #2, pp. 2-3.

And can it be that God is born
                                    This happy morn;
That He, Most High, Who framed the earth
                                    Is come to birth ;
That He in time, the Ageless One,
                                    Is Mary’s Son ?
Yes, even so ; Faith leads the way
                                    Unto the Day,
And Hope, with songs, beguiles the road
                                    To that abode
Where Love, her journey past, shall see
                                    True Charity.
To Bethlehem come, what see I there ?
                                    A Child most fair ;
Yet He is God, Who finds His rest
                                    On Mary’s breast:
A little One but newly born,
                                    The Star of Morn;
A helpless Babe of mean estate,
                                    The Uncreate,
A Child, of fleshly pride abhorred,
                                    Creation’s Lord.
Sight is offended, will not own,
                                    Faith sees alone
The Mystery to Faith displayed,
                                    How God was made
Man for us men, for sinners born,
                                    This Christmas morn.
To Bethlehem, true house of bread
                                    I would be led,
And find Thee there, no more the Child,
                                    With Mother mild,
But Man, with Wounds and piercéd Side,
                                    The Crucified.
No more the creatures of the stall
                                    Before Thee fall ;
Thy courtiers now, the Angel-choir,
                                    Spirits of fire
Who come to greet Thee, as of yore
                                    On stable floor.
I hear the solemn hymn go up,
                                    I see the bread, the cup ;
I see the priest in vestment meet,
                                    The incense sweet ;
But art Thou here in very deed,
                                    Thine own to feed ?

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