O Happy Day, When First Was Poured
The Circumcision of Christ
Felix dies, quam proprio,
Abbé Sebastien Besnault, d. 1724
Translated by John Chandler
Source: Percy Dearmer, R. Vaughan Williams, et. al., eds., The English Hymnal. London: Oxford University Press, 1906, #36, p. 60.
1. O happy day, when first was poured
The blood of our redeeming Lord!
O happy day, when first began
His sufferings for sinful man!
2. Just entered on this world of woe,
His blood already learned to flow;
His future death was thus expressed,
And thus his early love confessed.
3. From heaven descending to fulfil
The mandates of his Father's will,
E'en now behold the victim lie,
The Lamb of God, prepared to die!
4. Lord, circumcise our hearts, we pray,
Our fleshly natures purge away;
Thy name, thy likeness may they bear:
Yes, stamp thy holy image there!
5. O Lord, the virgin-born, to thee
Eternal praise and glory be,
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Holy Ghost for evermore. Amen.
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January 1 is the Octave of Christmas, and the start of the New Year. This is also the feast of the Circumcision of Christ, His first spilling of His blood for all mankind. Especially since the Second Vatican Council, the emphasis has changed to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of Christ, and as a day of prayer for world peace.
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