This Tuesday we will be singing the Advent and Christmas hymns y’all have requested. Anna Grace has been busy putting the set sheet together for us and getting ready to play. One of the hymns we are singing this week is Ambrose’s “Come, thou Redeemer of the Earth.” As we looked at two weeks ago, Bishop Ambrose of Milan (339-397) brought congregational singing into the Western Church in the 4th century. Ambrose was the chief catholic opponent of the Arian heresy. Arianism, in an attempt to preserve the impassibility of God, taught that the Son was part of the created order, not the divine. The Council of Nicea condemned Arianism in 325 to little effect. Ambrose brought singing into the church to teach the people Trinitarian theology and to combat Arianism. In 381, Ambrose caused the Emperor Theodosius to convene the Council of Constantinople where the present Nicene Creed was formulated and Arianism was once more rebuked. Attached is an article about Ambrose and his hymns (HERE). Below is a Christmas hymn Ambrose composed. This is the first Christmas hymn written in the Western Church and maybe in all of Christendom (which is why we are singing it on Tuesday). It is also one of the first hymns that Martin Luther translated into German, so it may also be the first Protestant Christmas hymn as well. Read through the hymn and see how it tells the story of our redemption through a Trinitarian lens. I promise this will be the only hymn we sing on Tuesday that you may not know.
|1 Come, thou Redeemer of the earth,
and manifest thy virgin-birth:
let every age adoring fall;
such birth befits the God of all.
2 Begotten of no human will,
but of the Spirit, thou art still
the Word of God, in flesh arrayed,
the Saviour, now to us displayed.
3 From God the Father he proceeds,
to God the Father back he speeds,
runs out his course to death and hell,
returns on God’s high throne to dwell.
|4 O equal to thy Father, thou!
Gird on thy fleshly mantle now,
the weakness of our mortal state
with deathless might invigorate.
5 Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
and darkness glow with new-born light,
no more shall night extinguish day,
where love’s bright beams their power display.
6 O Jesu, virgin-born, to thee
eternal praise and glory be,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Spirit, evermore. Amen.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is Chicken Marbella. We begin singing about 6:45. Hope to see you here. Please bring a friend.