The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

This is Our Christmas Day

On Christmas Day the Yeare 1678,
When the Clergy Were Banished
in the Time of the Plot

For Christmas Day

Author: Luke Waddinge

To the tune of “Bonny Broom”

One of the "Carols for the Several Days of Christmas"


Luke Waddinge, A Small Garland of Pious & Godly Songs, 1684

Christmas Carols of Waddinge and Devereux

Source: Thomas Wall, A Pious Garland Being the December Letter and Christmas Carols of Luke Wadding (Dublin: M.H. Gill and Son, 1960).

This is our Christmass day, the day of Christ’s birth,
Yet we are far from joy and far from Christmass mirth;
On Christmass to have no Mass is our great discontent,
That without Mass this day should pass doth cause us to lament.

The name of Christ-mass must changed and altered be,
For since we have no Mass no Christmass have we;
It’s therefore we do mourn, with grief our hearts are prest,
With tears our eyes do run, our minds and thoughts want rest.

As Jeremy sadly sat with tears for to lament
The temple desolate, her gold and glory spent;
So we do grieve and mourn to see no priest at Mass,
No lights on altars burn, this day of Christmass.

No Mass heard this great day, no matins sung last night,
No bells to call to pray, no lamps, no taper light,
No chalice, no rich robes, no church, no chapel dress,
No vestments, precious copes, no holy water blessed.

King David in his days before the Ark did dance,
With music and with praise its honour to advance;
But we our sad eyes fix to see laid on the ground
Our ark, our crucifix, our tabernacle down.

Our pictures daily open as books before our eyes,
To read what we hear spoken of sacred mysteries,
They now are laid aside and cast out of their estate,
Themselves from us they hide in darkness and disgrace.

But if church walls would speak and old times to us tell,
If the dead those graves could break where thousand years they dwell,
If that they could arise to preach what practised was,
We should have priests always, our altars and our Mass.

Most pure and precious things were given in those times
By emperors, queens and kings, with gold and silver shrines;
They deemed nothing too rich that through their hands could pass,
To beautify the church and to set forth the Mass.

What those first Christians left us, written by their pen,
What learned Fathers taught us, great saints and holy men,
What in their times was done and practised in each place,
As clear as shines the sun, doth shew they still had Mass.

Some news each post doth bring of Jesuits and their plots
Against our sacred king, discovered first by Oates;
Such plotters we may curse with bell and book at Mass,
By them the time is worse than e’er we felt it was.

God bless our king and queen, long may they live in peace,
Long may their days be seen, long may their joys increase,
And those who do not pray that Charles in peace may reign,
I wish they never may see priest nor Mass again.

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