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Christmas Eve Gathering - O Holy Night

O Holy Night has become a staple for many churches at Christmas time.  The familiar melody and soaring chorus are at once recognizable.  A few years ago I stumbled upon alternate words for this great song (unattributed), and we have used them in our Christmas Eve service ever since.  They capture well the birth narrative, a humble response of praise, and a right anticipation of Christ's return.  Meditate on the lyrics of this song, and the others we will sing this Christmas Eve to prepare yourself to sing with the congregation.

O holy night! the stars are brightly shining-
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining-
Till He appeared, gift of infinite worth!
Behold the Babe in yonder manger lowly-
'Tis God's own Son come down in human form:
Fall on your knees before the Lord most holy!
O night divine-O night when Christ was born!
O night divine-O night, O night divine!

With humble hearts we bow in adoration
Before this Child, gift of God's matchless love,
Sent from on high to purchase our salvation-
That we might dwell with Him ever above.
What grace untold-to leave the bliss of glory
And die for sinners guilty and forlorn:
Fall on your knees! repeat the wondrous story!
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!

O day of joy, when in eternal splendor
He shall return in His glory to reign,
When ev'ry tongue due praise to Him shall render,
His pow'r and might to all nations proclaim!
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For soon shall dawn that glad eternal morn:
Fall on your knees! with joy lift up your voices!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!

Christmas Eve Service - December 24, 2012