As we trudge up the Advent path to Bethlehem (the high feast to be quickly followed by the commemoration of the Massacre of the Innocents), Holy Mother Church offers us this hymn of consolation:
Hark! a herald voice is calling
Through the shadows of the night
‘Cast away the dreams of darkness
Christ descends with heavenly light.’
Wakened by the solemn warning,
Let the earthbound soul arise;
Christ, her sun, all sloth dispelling,
Shines upon the morning skies.
Lo, the Lamb, so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from heav’n;
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiv’n;
So, when next he comes with glory,
And his judgement-day draws near,
Faithful he may find his servants,
Watching till their Lord appear.
Honour, glory, might, and blessing
To the Father and the Son,
With the everlasting Spirit,
While eternal ages run.